"Women can tell you how many degrees (Fahrenheit and Celsius, to say nothing of Kelvin) it was outside." -Optimistic. on first kisses
Question #89749 posted on 05/23/2017 1:22 a.m.

Dear Frère Rubik,

Which people should go through which doors when entering/exiting the library in order to maximize efficiency?

– Larry Wayne


Dear Larry Wayne,

Well, who'da thunk it? Someone actually read my bio page!

For this question, we'll look at the ground floor of the library. Specifically, we'll look at the southwestern-most doors, since they're the ones I use the most to go from the library to the ESC when I'm going to class and therefore are the doors at which I experience most of my frustrations:


Now, when large groups of people walk down this hallway, they tend to move to the right hand side, creating two lanes of traffic, like so:


Why do we do this? It could be because we tend to drive on the right side of the road and so subconsciously we do the same thing when we're on foot. I found some articles about why different countries drive on the right side or the left, and this discussion about why people walk on the side of the sidewalk they do. It's interesting, but far from conclusive.

But anyway: in this situation, walking on the right side of the hall, which door should you exit out of? Would either of them be equally efficient? Let's take a look.

If the people exiting/entering the building choose the door that is on their right, the traffic flows like this:

good way.png

As you can see, this makes both the people in the blue lane and the people in the red lane happy, since they're all able to enter/exit the building in a smooth, continuous path without any interruptions. Sure, they show their happiness in different ways, but at the end of the day, what does it matter? Just because the blue people have their eyes and mouth wide open does not mean that we should give in to the temptation to label the red people as merely "content." Surely we can agree that, just as there are billions of people on this earth, there are also billions of ways to express our happiness.

Now, what would it look like if they tried the other door?

bad way.png

Now, we find that things have changed. The red people people are still happy; entering through the left door has done nothing to interrupt their walking path or their sense of inner contentment. The blue people, though, find themselves at a loss as to what they should do. While the steady stream of red people cuts them off from the door on the left, there are too many red people coming in the door on the right for the blues to exit there, either. They resign themselves to wait, hoping this interruption will turn out to be a minor one.


It isn't meant to be. The red people continue streaming in through the left door, blissfully unaware of the problem they're creating for the blues. And how could they be? They're busy people leading busy lives, and they've been caught up in the temporary euphoria of uninterrupted traffic flow. They see themselves; in some instances, they may also see their fellow reds and bask in the joy of communal movement towards a common goal. It is highly unlikely that they see the blues.

The blues' confusion has turned into frustration. Will there be no end to the line of reds streaming through the right door? Some may make an attempt to break through the line to the left door, but the reds unwittingly have created an impenetrable barrier with their joyful movement. The blues' frustration turns into desperation, and in some cases, anger. They didn't do anything to deserve this! In fact, they get angry at the fact that they're angry. This miserable mood isn't their fault at all! Why should they have to get frustrated and upset because of the ignorant mistakes of others? Confound it all, it's not fair, do you hear me? It's not fair!

And yet the reds continue to flow.


Eventually, the blues' anger reaches its boiling point. Future historians looking on the actions of this day will be filled with a sense of tragic pity. They, so far removed in time, can clearly see how this cause led to that effect and how the whole thing might have been avoided. If some people had perhaps been more thoughtful, and others had committed themselves beforehand to never do what would ultimately be done, then perhaps this day could have slipped unobtrusively in line with its fellows, completely normal and unremarkable. Sadly, this is not the case.

Pushed to the breaking point by their frustration and desperation to reach class on time, the blues will eventually move en masse, scattering like so many ball bearings from a discharged shotgun shell. Their random motion cuts off the red line, surprising them out of their felicitous reprieve. For a few agonizing moments, no one enters or exits the library at all. Slowly, the blues regain their sense of composure and make their way towards the doors. If some insightful red acts quickly enough, she will boldly direct her line toward the door on their right, allowing the blues a dignified exit through the other door and restoring a sense of order and balance to that small section of campus. Or, perhaps, too stunned to learn from past mistakes, she will remain in front of the door to her left. The blues, with no other option, will go through the other door, and the fortunes of red and blue will have been effectively reversed. Those blues at the front of the line will remember the tragedy and seek to warn those that come after them, but invariably the blues at the end of the line will not have paid attention and will fall into the same locomotive bliss as their red counterparts from before. The reds will wait outside, tensions building until the horrible cycle of events repeats itself once more, causing all those involved to lament the futility of time and history.


But there is a way to break this chain of sorrow. You can be the difference. You can be the change you want to see in the world. You can help everyone experience the joy of uninterrupted movement through open doors.

You can choose the right.

-Frère Rubik

Question #89723 posted on 05/28/2017 2:26 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I don't want to scare you, but I'd like to talk about horcruxes. I've got a few questions. First, how many can you really make, I've heard it's 7, well I guess 6, but is there anything really stopping me from going higher? Second, how exactly would my soul be divided? I mean, does it divide in half the first time I make one?
Because if it keeps dividing in half, and leaving the remaining half soul in a horcrux, then by the time I split my soul into its seventh part, I would only have 1/64th of a soul left in my body, while my first horcrux would have an entire half soul, that doesn't seem fair, does it?

-Tom Riddle


Dear Riddle,

As Sheebs demonstrated in her table, the fraction of your soul you get to keep gets exponentially smaller with every division. As she pointed out, with M being the number of horcruxes (or divisions) you make, you get to keep 1/2M of a soul. (Again refer to Sheebs' table to see this relationship.) Now the limit of this expression as M approaches infinity is 0. However, the funny thing about limits is that you don't have to actually arrive, and in the case of 1/2M, you don't. So if we just go off of the criteria that you need some soul in you to survive (no matter how infinitesimally small that soul is), and assume that the soul isn't composed of physical matter (per Ento's point below me) then you can technically continue making horcruxes ad infinitum.

But we don't live in a world with infinitely many people in it, so your next limiting factor is the number of people. Currently it's 7.3 billion. (Plugging that into our handy-dandy equation gives us that you would have approximately 4.4971x10-2197518969 of a soul left, but hey, that's still some soul!)

The next thing to consider is how much time it will take to kill all those people. I mean, technically your horcruxes grant you immortality, but my guess is that when you go on your killing spree, the survivors will be highly incentivized to stop you, so living forever isn't necessarily a given. So, because I can, I'm now going to go into approximately how long it would take for you to kill everyone in the world while making a horcrux with every killing.

Right off the bat, we can see this will take a bit longer than just Avada-Kedavra-ing everyone. "But wait," some reader says "didn't Voldemort manage to turn Harry into a horcrux without some extra spell?" Eh, Harry wasn't truly a Horcrux. Buried in the depths of this article is a quote by J.K. Rowling backing me up. Essentially, Harry wasn't cursed/evil like the other horcruxes because Voldemort didn't go through the proper process, though he was close to being a horcrux.

The books never specify the exact requisite spell for making a horcrux, but I think it's safe to say it's complicated. Let's assume this spell costs you 3.5 minutes of time (cause you get horrifically efficient at it). Actually killing people will go pretty quickly. Using the highly accurate and scientific method of muttering "avada kedavra" under my breath repeatedly (12 times to be exact) while in the library, and waving my finger like it's a wand, I came up with an average killing time of .671 seconds. You might get faster with experience, but my guess is that you won't be focusing on constantly speaking as fast as you possibly can, so I'm just going to say this value is constant over time. Another thing to add onto your murder time is resistance, and taking the time laugh in a high-pitched, evil manner (you know, adding that special personal touch). Note that I'm assuming you're taking the craftsman's approach here, and killing people individually. You probably don't need to laugh every time you murder (we don't want to go overboard here), so I'm going to suppose that you laugh for 1 out of every 5 killings, where each laugh has an average duration of 3 seconds. With an even distribution, let's factor in 5 seconds per person for resistance.

Without yet adding in travel/sleep/reveling in your evilness time, we have a rough total of 50,063 years for time needed to make a horcrux per every currently living person.

But if it's going to take you 50 thousand years to kill us all, how long before you actually get around to the general Board readership (i.e. the US)? Well, let's start looking at in your between murdering times, like traveling to your next victims.

Dividing the world into Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Oceania, and Antarctica, we conveniently have the population densities for each region here (which will be useful later on*). Let's say you commence your horcrux spree in Europe, successively moving on to Africa, South America, North America, Asia, Oceania, and finally Anarctica. Thanks to the ability to apparate, you can travel much faster than the average muggle, helping to cut back significantly in this department. However, apparating has its limits, so no big intercontinental apparition is allowed. Luckily for you, the shortest distance between Europe and Africa is only about 14 km, so is still within the range of apparating. Unfortunately for you, some other continents aren't so close, so you'll have to resort to brooms. 

I'm sure you'll have the best broom looting the now-empty shops can turn up, so you'll probably be able to fly at about 241 km an hour. As Africa and South America are 2575 km apart, that trip will take you 10.7 hours. North and South America are only separated by the isthmus of Panama, so again that will be within apparating bounds. If you leave from Alaska to Russia, there's only a distance of ~88 km (55 mi) and so you'll probably be able to apparate (though I'm not sure if a less adept wizard could). Asia and Oceania are separated by 7560 km, so that will cost 31.4 hours. Finally, the journey to Antarctica (to kill off those scientists) is 6,685 km, or 27.7 hours. 

For simplicity's sake, let's say you can kill everyone within a 10 meter radius before having to apparate to your next location, and that each apparition eats up 5 seconds. The following are your continent kill-times (using landmasses from here):

Europe: 5111.87 years (you have 1.265X10-2236954 of a soul left).

Africa: 8386.88 years (Alas, I was going to keep a running soul total, but Wolfram Alpha isn't working, and my graphing calculator ran out of batteries quite some time ago, so you all are just going to have to imagine the ever diminishing numbers to the side. Or, you know, plug the numbers into the formula yourself, but who would ever go to that trouble? That'd be crazy...)

South America: 2925.72 years (even less soul than before).

North America: 4009.19 years (imagine a super small number; the amount of soul you still have left is probably smaller).

Asia: 30492.36 years (repeat the imagining process, but now go even littler).

Oceania: 278.41 years (I mean, at this point probably even Dementors can't sense your poor, fragmented soul).

Antarctica: 20.97 years (hah, you can just refer to the above paragraphs to know how much soul there is left in your now very old and wizened body!).

This comes to a total of about 51,142 years, with 16,424 years before you arrive to North America. So, all you readers, just pass down this answer through the generations. Your 821st great grandchildren may be in trouble. 

Alternatively, opposed to killing the world population, I guess you could leave enough survivors in any one place who can continue having kids that could then be turned into horcruxes (again with enough survivors to produce a new generation). I think this might finally be getting into realm of that which is too morbid even for me, though.

~Anathema, who probably derived far too much morbid glee out of writing this answer

*Guess it didn't turn out to be important, but maybe you can do other cool things with that information

Question #89644 posted on 05/10/2017 11:45 a.m.

[Editor’s note: This question has been edited to remove references to specific political or doctrinal topics, in order to prevent writers from going on tangents about individual issues and to help readers focus on the core question being asked. Such topics may be addressed by submitting individual questions with a narrower focus. This question has also been broken up into multiple paragraphs.]

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I've been a fan of the board for many years. You guys have been amazing for so long. I've really been amazed at the wittiness, quality, research, and admiration I've seen from your responses. By and large your performance has been phenomenal. I've seen it go through different phases. I've read thousands of questions. I just graduated from BYU and have read thousands of responses since I was in High School.

I apologize ahead of time if this offends the writers. The board has never gone this far as it has this year. The first trend that's alarmed me is that everyone is going wayyyyyyy liberal. Old writers from 10 years ago would be shocked at some of your opinions. By and large we Mormons are very conservative people. I'm not saying that you should all be ultraconservative, I'm just remarking that it seems that every writer here is left of center. I just think it's unfortunate that there's little diversity of opinion when you don't have any staunch conservatives anymore. I just want to know if there is at least 1 staunch conservative on the board. Is there??? I'm not implying that liberal Mormons make bad Mormons. But I am alarmed that so many board writers don't even have testimonies.

I know that there is a disclaimer that says that this site doesn't necessarily reflect the views of BYU. But I'm starting to feel that the board is becoming a den of apostates. I feel like if a board writer couldn't attend BYU because of their behavior and beliefs, then they probably shouldn't be a writer on the board at all. Are your answers assisting students on their path to eternal life? Many board readers are fed up with the subversive views that are creeping on to the board. I think it would be somewhat appropriate if the board writers were actually BYU students who were living the honor code. Why are ex-mormons still writing on the board? Why can't this be a faith based, faith promoting forum? Why would anyone still write here if they no longer believed in Christ's teachings? I'm legitimately wondering. WHY??? There are new-order Mormon forums and plenty of apostate leaning blogs in the Blogernacle for exmormons. I have loved this board for so long. And I am BITTER that it's changed so much.

The LDS church is GOD'S true church! I know that. You probably think that I'm some naive small town Utard that's super uninformed/non-intellectual. Guess what, I've grappled with almost every faith issue you all are, or have been dealing with. I'm not ignorant. All I'm asking is, can we have a board where the writers care about their covenants? Can we have a board where faith in God and His Son are valued? Can we have a board where we can all accept that Joseph Smith really did see God and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God? Can we have a board where all of us are at least trying to get to the Celestial Kingdom?

Are there any of you board members who are just thinking some of the same things as me but are too afraid to admit where this board is heading? God loves all of you way more than I do. That's for sure. But I want you to know that I love and care about the board and that I'm heartbroken that collectively, it's going astray. So if you're some board member struggling with your testimony,can you promise to read the Book of Mormon every day for the next month? Can you promise to pray to God every night even if you may no longer believe that he's there? Can you try to make it to church this Sunday? So all I truly want to know is - can I pretty please have the board I love back?

Sword of Truth!

-My Name Here


Dear you,

Your question interested me, so I made a survey and had the current writers take it. It was anonymous, so I feel pretty sure that they answered honestly.

It should be noted that I have absolutely no experience in survey design or methodology. Also, I apologize in advance for the fact that the graphics are a bit blurry; I can't seem to fix that.

I'm pretty sure we have about 21 current writers, and the survey received 17 responses. This was a pretty good rate, since we have quite a few writers who are technically current, but haven't answered anything in months.

First, I asked some basic questions about Church activity and commandment-keeping:

In general, do you consider yourself active, somewhat active, somewhat less active, or less active?


What percentage of the time do you attend church?


When you attend church, which meetings do you attend (select all that apply)?


Which of the following best describes you?


Are you trying to get to the Celestial Kingdom?


These results pretty much speak for themselves. Current Board writers are overwhelmingly active, attending their meetings, and trying to get to the Celestial Kingdom. They are all keeping the Honor Code and/or living Church standards.

Next, I asked a few questions about the role that the Church played in their life:

With 0 being "do not value at all" and 10 being "value greatly," how would you describe role that faith in God and His Son plays in your life?


With 0 being "do not value at all" and 10 being "value greatly," how would you describe role that covenants play in your life?


Board writers overwhelmingly find that faith in God and Jesus Christ, and keeping covenants with them, plays an extremely valuable role in their life.

Then I asked some testimony questions:

Do you believe the Church is true?


Please respond with your beliefs about the following statements about Joseph Smith: Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ during the First Vision, Joseph Smith was a prophet, and Joseph Smith restored the original Church of Christ to the earth.


(I'd like to note here that the writer who answered "strongly disagree" also identified as active and answered "yes" to the "Do you believe the Church is true?" question. This leads me to suspect that they intended to respond with "strongly agree," and misread the answer options.)

Please respond with your beliefs about the following statements about the Book of Mormon: the Book of Mormon is doctrinally true, the Book of Mormon is a historically accurate record of an ancient people, and Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God.


(As with the Joseph Smith question, I'm pretty sure that the writer who responded with "strongly disagree" meant to respond "strongly agree".)

Assuming that my interpretations of the outlying answers are correct, Board writers overwhelmingly have firm testimonies of the basic tenets of the Restoration, with room for reasonable and normal questions or reservations that many active members have.

Next, I asked a few questions about where the writers fall politically, and how they believe politics intersects with the Church:

What is your political affiliation?


Please provide your opinions on the following statements about the intersection of the Church and politics: Church doctrine corresponds more closely to conservative politics, It is possible to be politically liberal and an active Mormon, I feel conflict between my political views and the doctrine of the Church, and I feel conflict between my political views and the culture of the Church.


These results show that the Board does skew liberal politically; about 2/3 of the Board writers identified as left of center. Part of me wonders if I should have provided an option to simply select "centrist," but I feel like if too many people selected that, there wouldn't be as much clarity.

The second graph shows that, in general, writers don't feel like there's much conflict between being a liberal Mormon and believing in the doctrines of the Church. It also shows that writers do feel that there is some conflict between Mormon culture and liberal political beliefs. The second graph also indicates that we have a writer who is pretty committed to a politically conservative approach to the Gospel.

Finally, I asked a few questions to gauge whether writers feel that liberal or conservative opinions are favored or discriminated against on the Board:

Please rate your opinion on the following statements about 100 Hour Board culture: there is little diversity of political opinion on the Board, there is little diversity of doctrinal opinion on the Board, the Board is more liberal than the average BYU population, liberal opinions are discouraged on the Board, and conservative opinions are discouraged on the Board.

board culture.png

Please rate how comfortable you feel expressing your opinions on the Board, with 0 being "extremely uncomfortable" and 10 being "extremely comfortable".


These results show that although the Board writers are aware of the fact that the Board writers are more liberal as a whole than the BYU population, they have pretty ambivalent feelings about whether this results in homogeneous opinions on political or doctrinal topics.

I found it interesting to compare the results of these two questions in regard to how welcome conservative and liberal opinions are on the Board. The first question would seem to indicate that writers feel that conservative opinions are slightly less welcome than liberal opinions. (Interestingly, one of the "somewhat agree" responses to that statement was by a writer who identified as "left" in the political affiliations question.) However, the second question indicates that Board writers felt ever so slightly more comfortable expressing conservative opinions, although the results are so evenly tied as to suggest that on average, writers feel equally comfortable.

I actually think these results make sense. Since the Board is currently two-thirds politically liberal, there is definitely going to be a peer pressure effect in terms of conservative vs. liberal opinions. I think the writers are pretty good at respecting each other, and it's kept to a minimum, but being the minority voice in a group is always going to feel a bit intimidating. On the other hand, since the Board is unofficially hosted by BYU, there's a sense that conservative opinions aren't going to upset the administration or reflect badly upon BYU, because BYU is overwhelmingly conservative. However, liberal opinions always run the risk of seeming too "out there" for a website that ends in .byu.edu.


The current Board writers are overwhelmingly active, testimony-holding, good members of the Church. The Board also is more liberal than the BYU population. This results in some inevitable skewing towards the left, but overall, the Board is happy to allow writers to express both conservative and liberal opinions, and the writers feel reasonably comfortable expressing themselves regardless of political affiliation. Writers acknowledge that liberal opinions are often at odds with church culture, but do not feel that they are incompatible with Church doctrine.

Personally, I would echo the Editors' suggestion to read for a little while and see if your perception was skewed by alumni week. If, after further reading of only the current writers' answers, you still feel that the Board is apostate, you might need to reëxamine whether you truly believe that one can be liberal and a good Mormon.

Thanks for the opportunity to do this survey, it was fun.


Question #89616 posted on 05/02/2017 11:34 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Will you get me Tucanos' mango fish recipe?

-I didn't realize it was so good


Dear inorite, 

Well, you're not really in luck, Tucanos has not published their recipes at all. I asked my uncle who works with Tucanos out of interest and he doesn't have the recipe. Even if he had the recipe, I probably wouldn't have posted it on a public site on the internet, because that kind of stuff gets you fired. I searched around on the internet and was surprised to find a veritable void in the copycat recipe scene as far as Tucanos goes. I was surprised that I couldn't even find one attempt at a recipe. So with full knowledge that I wouldn't get it right, I set out with minimal time, minimal money, and minimal knowledge of how to deep fry fish. So I proudly present:

Sherpa Dave's Kinda Not Really Tucanos Mango Fish Recipe Adventure


First off, I grabbed a mango at the store, then promptly remembered I hate cutting up mangoes. Let's not dwell on how I dispatched the mango, but let's just say I peeled it first.


This is my (first) attempt at the glaze:

3/4 cup vinegar

Heat over medium heat

Add 3/4 cup brown sugar, realize this isn't quite the type of glaze you were going for, add 1/4 cup more brown sugar in a last ditch effort to balance out the vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger root, and the flesh of one mango. Heat to a boil over medium-high heat and allow to reduce for about, 10 minutes.

After that, allow to cool slightly, add 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice and then put it in a blender and puree until smooth.


Periodically pander to every whim of the excitable puppy who demands your attention every second.


This is a .5 lb cod fillet that I used for the fish. For the batter I ended up using a batter which has eggs in it, which I now realize is not the same as Tucanos, but it's what happened so. If I were to redo it, I would try a batter without eggs, and use cornstarch, cause it turned out we were out. Here's the batter that I ended up using in my recipe.


Mix 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 cup cornmeal

Make a well in middle, add 1 cup of cold water mixed with one egg yolk. Mix until barely combined.

Fold in 2 egg whites that have been beaten to stiff peaks. Use this batter immediately.

Fry the fish in an oil with a high smoke point, like peanut oil. Make sure you maintain a temperature between 350 and 375 Fahrenheit, you can do this easily with a candy thermometer. Fry the fish until golden brown.


This is attempt numero uno. Not bad, really. My parents and siblings ate all of this up without having to be prompted, but I wanted to try another glaze. The first glaze was very reminiscent of orange chicken, which I enjoyed, but I didn't feel like it was really true to Tucanos form, so I moved on to glaze attempt number two! This time I used frozen mango.

1 cup water

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon grated ginger

1 cup frozen mango

I boiled these in a pan for about 10 minutes, then added lemon juice and pureed as last time. However, this time I pureed the glaze for a much shorter time, so it was a bit chunkier (which I believe is how it is at Tucanos? I can't quite remember).


This is attempt number two. The second glaze was a lot sweeter, but didn't have quite as deep of a taste. I'm honestly not sure which one I preferred, but I'd probably have to go with the second one, just because it was closer to the Tucanos recipe.


Here's some of the finished product. Basically, the batter for the fish was too egg-y for the tucanos fish, but still worked out fine. I think the second glaze was kind of close to the Tucanos glaze, at least in consistency and general sweetness. I made an edible and delicious meal! I did not however get super close to the Tucanos recipe.


(Not included: Puppy constantly causing trouble and distracting me continuously.)

Keep it real,
Sherpa Dave

Question #89611 posted on 05/01/2017 11:44 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board alumni,

As Alumni Week 2017 comes to a close, any last words for the masses?

-the masses


Dear massive,

Message that old friend you've been randomly thinking about lately.

Really. Just do it right now.


Question #89545 posted on 04/29/2017 3:42 p.m.

Dear Man With A Mustache and 100 Hour Board,

Recently I was interested to read MwaM's comment on the comment board about pornography. As I understand it, he was arguing that a continuing pornography addiction should not prevent a couple from getting married. I admit I honestly have always thought that, barring personal revelation, it was not a good idea to marry someone with an ongoing pornography addiction.

I suppose I see it as similar to a drug addiction. I am very sympathetic to those with a drug or prescription medication addiction, and I realize that in some or many cases the addicted person may not really have a lot of control over being addicted right now. I know it's really difficult to kick a drug habit. But I wouldn't marry someone who still had a drug addiction and was using drugs.

So, MwaM, why is pornography different? Ubiquity? Not a serious sin? And to MwaM and other writers: is there a line you would set when dating in terms of pornography addiction? At what point would it probably be a deal breaker for you? Why?

-trying to be a good person


Dear trying,

I don't deny that there are aspects of human behavior that should be major red flags. No matter how much you love someone, for example, abusive behavior is a major red flag. Drug addiction is a major red flag. So are pornography use, degree of honesty, degree of commitment to the Church, willingness to make sacrifices, eating behaviors, gender identity, sexual orientation, political views, money spending behaviors, gender role perceptions, career ambitions, native language barriers, degree of desire for children, and parenting style. I'm not saying they are all equal; in fact, they are not. Some are preferences whereas others are morally wrong. But, frankly, anything can be a deal breaker. Marrying a person is an inherently risky behavior because you're tying yourself to another person's qualities and their imperfections without reservation. You don't get to only experience the positive attributes of a person, and every single person has a set of weaknesses.

So, why is pornography different? Well, it isn't. It's just one of a list of things that a person has to decide to accept about me or not. It's totally cool with me if you decide that you can't handle dealing with porn addiction in your marriage. You are completely free to make that choice and I do not think that it makes you a terrible person or anything like that. Porn addiction is painful for everyone involved. It's hard for my wife for a variety of reasons that I'm sure you can imagine. It's hard for me to try so hard and relapse again, to feel like I could be a much better husband and father but to continually find myself in more or less the same place despite my efforts. It will be hard on my children when they find out (as, I fear, they inevitably will). It will be hard on me when I know they know and when it colors their perception of me. I fully recognize that recovery is my responsibility and I do what I can to work through it. But, frankly, I don't at this moment believe that I will ever be totally rid of it in this life.

So, I guess I could turn the question back around. Why is pornography different? Why should I be denied a chance at a happy life with a family that I build because I struggle with one aspect of the gospel while I simultaneously succeed at so many others? Where so many other imperfections can be just things to improve upon, does it seem right that there should be some rule that all people with an active pornography addiction should be unable to further relationships toward marriage? It seems better to me that each person gets to choose to accept the imperfections of another person based on their ability to cope with whatever they've got. My wife didn't pick me because I was working toward recovery when we met. She knew that about me, certainly, but her choice to marry me was made in spite and not because of my struggles. She took a risk, feeling that whatever strengths she perceived in me were more important than the struggles I have.

Was she right? I'm honestly not sure. I'm positive there have been times in our marriage when she has contemplated her decision and regretted it. She does not have an easy lot. As much as she knew about my problems, she couldn't have predicted the strength of her emotions surrounding my pornography addiction and how it makes her feel. We've had some long nights with lots of pain and heartbreak on both sides. I suppose we'll only know if it's worth it later on, at the end of our life, when we can look back on it all and see what became of what we did. For now though, we are both doing our best to raise a happy family in the gospel and to teach good principles to our children.

I've always said that the line to set has to do with a man and his desires. If you've got someone you love who struggles with something serious like substance or behavioral addiction, everything can be great as long as he is still willing to keep trying. The moment that spark of desire to get better goes out, you've got a problem on your hands. But as long as the desire to improve is there, I believe any storm can be weathered. What it comes down to, then, is whether or not you can handle it. I do not believe that every woman should be able to commit to any man with a pornography addiction. It's harder for some than for others and some people would struggle with it in such a way that it would prevent them from being happy in such a marriage. I don't judge that. But you should know that there are people out there who are willing to take a chance on people like me who might be unwilling to take a chance on people you're totally comfortable with. Making blanket rules like, "Men with pornography must be 'clean' for one month before going to the temple" or "All women should ignore pornography addiction and always give men they love a chance," ignores the more important task of making sound judgments about a person based on your knowledge of them. It ignores the reality that some men who use pornography regularly are better and more spiritual people than some men who have never used pornography. Because while addiction fuels a lot of imperfect behaviors, it does not define who that person is at their core.

All this to say that I don't really think pornography is "different" in the way you're thinking of it. I'm not making some special exception. It's just one in a list of many things to watch out for that a potential spouse can either choose to handle or reject.


The Man with a Mustache

Question #89511 posted on 04/27/2017 10:06 p.m.

Dear The Board,

We all have pet peeves and people we hate, so could you please come up with your own nine levels of Hell (à la Dante's Inferno) and tell me who you're sticking in each one?

Nellie Bly


Dear Nessie,

1. People who spit on the ground. As punishment they shall be parched for all eternity, unable to gather enough saliva to lick a stamp, much less spit on anything.

2. Musicians who use siren noises in their songs. Fiery imps will prod them as they're forced to dance the Hokey Pokey ad infinitum.

3. People who touch the glass on a door to hold it open instead of using the handle. Verily, they will spend eternity wiping away an everlasting smudge.

4. Lobbyists. They shall treasure up their money, but it shall become slippery, like unto an eel. (Seriously, they're going to open their safety deposit boxes and electric eels will come pouring out.)

5. Litterers. Hell is a highway, stretching out infinitely far, lined with the cigarette butts of a billion angels.

6. Holocaust-deniers. Actually, they shall be mansplained to for all eternity.

7. Drunk drivers. DUIers (not to be confused with DIYers) shall be chained to a rock and have their livers eaten out over and over again.

8. Rapists. Rapists will be thrown into a bottomless pit of white-hot coals. (But they were asking for it when they showed up in Hell dressed like that.)

9. People who leave shopping carts in the parking lot. Well, I can't think of a punishment horrible enough for people like that. Use your imaginations.

-Genuine Article 

Question #89509 posted on 04/27/2017 4:20 p.m.

Dear The Board,

If you could place two teleporters anywhere in the world, where would you put them and why? You can use them to instantaneously transport people and goods, but once they're in place they can't be moved.

As a follow-up question, do you think it would/should be within the rights of whichever country you place them in to regulate them TSA-style?

-Nellie Bly


Dear NB,

I'd put one at the bottom of the ocean (inspiration from XKCD) and the other somewhere just above its surface, then hook up some sort of hydroelectric generator. Using the figures from the comic plus the equations provided here: 720 watts times 400,000 liters per second times 24 hours times 365 days divided by 1,000 for unit conversion comes out to just over 2.5 billion kilowatt-hours of energy produced per year. Which sounded awesome until I looked at the total US energy usage per year: ~13,000 kWh/year times ~320 million people equals a total US energy consumption rate of over 4 trillion kWh per year.

A wardrobe-sized portal isn't going to cut it. Let's make it bigger.

The Panama Canal can fit ships with a width of 161 feet. Since some of the other answers assume the portal would be large enough to fit shipping, I'm going to make that same assumption and adjust the math accordingly. We'll say the portal is a 161-foot square, which translates approximately to a 50-meter square, or 2,500 square meters. Based on math found at Explain XKCD, the original equation appears to assume a wardrobe volume of two square meters. If I'm doing my math right, the increase in size would increase water throughput from 400,000 liters per second to 500,000,000 liters per second. If I run the equation from the first paragraph a second time, that gives us an output of just over 3 trillion kilowatt-hours, enough to provide about three-quarters of the annual US energy consumption, or over 10% of the world's total energy consumption.

Sure, pesky little things like physics and reality might get in the way, but when has that ever stopped me?


Question #89491 posted on 04/26/2017 4:35 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Is it time for the Jedi to end?

-No, no, (*inhales*), no.


Dear No

My 4yo is very concerned about which Jedi is going to end. He's asked me a good two dozen times since I showed him the trailer.

-Humble Master

Question #89458 posted on 07/26/2017 11:26 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Re: the Facebook comments conversation, can we get some visuals to divide the Board into eons, eras, periods, epochs, and ages? And provide Reasons?

...Or I guess with people that's called generations. But it's okay; sometimes rocks are better.

-Auto Surf


Dear Auto Surf,

This was fun. You're also ridiculously lucky that the editors had mercy on me and let me hold it significantly past the end of Alumni Week so I could finish it properly.

Now, there are all sorts of ways to answer your question. Katya suggested dividing up the Board into its technological eras. Der Berliner thought that perhaps it would be good to look at the tenure of the various editors on the Board's history page. These are both good ideas which I will come back to at the end of my answer. But did I take them to heart?

No. Because that would be easy. And my life is pretty much defined by rejecting the perfectly acceptable easy way in order to do things the hard way instead.

So, despite never having done anything like it before, I decided to make and analyze a network diagram of writer contemporaries.

To start out, I took data on writer tenure from our internal Board directory, narrowed the dataset down to the 135 writers who had spent at least 12 months with the Board, and documented every pair of writers whose tenure overlapped in at least one calendar month. (There may have been cases in which one writer's final answer was written on, say, May 3, while another writer's first answer was written on May 25. They would be considered contemporaries, since I only know the month in which the answer was written, not the exact day. I imagine this doesn't apply to too many cases.) In total, that came out to 2,461 pairings. This is an extremely zoomed-out version of the chart:

big board project step 1.png

It was at this point, after putting in several hours of work that I really should have spent on homework instead, that I realized I have no idea how to turn this data into a network diagram, or if that's even possible in Excel. Luckily, while Excel itself doesn't support what I wanted to do, Google led me to a free Excel plug-in that can get the job done: NodeXL. From there, it was a simple but time-consuming matter to transfer the data into the NodeXL framework, and a few hours later, I was presented with this absolute piece of beauty:

big board project step 2.png

Each dot on the diagram represents a writer, and each line between two dots represents overlapping tenure with the Board. As you can see, the diagram can be intuitively divided into several clusters. Using my entirely unscientific intuition, I formalized that division as follows:

big board project step 3.png

(Note that the diagram is rotated every time I introduce any new data or elements; however, the spatial relationships remain the same.)

In the diagram above, you can see the flow of Board history in a sinuous path from the top left, to the center, to the center-right, to the bottom-center. Some of the borderline cases between groups are relatively arbitrary; for example, the lowest green dot on the chart (L'Afro) could arguably be moved into the blue group and fit just as well. However, for the most part, I think these are defensible divisions.

So how does that compare to a chronological analysis of writer tenure? I made another Excel chart, this time showing writer tenure by three-month block, and colored the writers' bars to match the network diagram:

big board project step 4.png

As you can see, there's still a fair bit of overlap between each group. In some cases, writers with unusually long tenures (compared to their contemporaries) were treated as members of a later group.

After further thought, I decided to divide the blue group (which stretched from early 2003 to late 2011) into two groups. I also took several transitional data points and removed their group designation entirely. Here's the result:

big board project step 5.png

It was at this point that I realized that the NodeXL could also cluster the connections between points, which makes for a much more intuitively understandable chart:

big board project step 6.png

The program also allows me to highlight dots and show their connections. I used this feature to highlight each group's connections.

Group 1: Orange (Early Board)

Earliest writers started: 1998

Majority of writers: 1998 to the second quarter of 2002

Last writers retired: the fourth quarter of 2002

big board project orange.png

Group 2: Yellow and Green (Early Board)

Earliest writers started: 1998

Majority of writers: the third quarter of 2002 to the fourth quarter of 2004

Last writers retired: the first quarter of 2006

big board project green.png

Group 3: Cyan (Middle Board)

Earliest writers started: the first quarter of 2003

Majority of writers: the third quarter of 2005 to the fourth quarter of 2006

Last writers retired: the first quarter of 2008

big board project aqua.png

Group 4: Blue (Middle Board)

Earliest writers started: the third quarter of 2006

Majority of writers: the fourth quarter of 2007 to the first quarter of 2010

Last writers retired: the fourth quarter of 2011

big board project blue.png

Group 5: Purple (Transition)

Earliest writers started: the second quarter of 2006

Majority of writers: never; peaked in 2010

Last writers retired: n/a

big board project pink.png

Group 6: Red (Late Board)

Earliest writers started: the fourth quarter of 2009

Majority of writers: the third quarter of 2011 to the present

Last writers retired: n/a

big board project red.png

In chart form, here's what that looks like:

big board project step 7.png

While my group descriptions noted the quarter that each group began to make up a majority of writers, it's better to think of transitional periods rather than exact transitional dates. Each transition takes anywhere from six months to one year, so an abbreviated listing of Board generations would look something like this:

  • First generation (orange): 1998 to early 2002
  • Second generation (yellow and green): late 2002 to late 2004
  • Third generation (cyan): mid 2005 to early 2007
  • Fourth generation (blue): late 2007 to early 2010
  • Transitional generation (purple): late 2009 to early 2011
  • Fifth generation (red): mid 2011 to present

Each of the first four generations lasted around three years, give or take. The fifth generation, however, has lasted around six years so far, and so far it resists easy attempts at breaking it up into smaller units. The best provisional transition I could come up with began around the end of 2015. Here's what that generation's connections look like:

big board project future.png

And here's how that group appears on the chart.

big board project step 8.png

Finally, here's a version of the diagram with several notable writers highlighted.

big board project step 9_1.png

As it turns out, some of these eras correspond to important milestones in Board history. Although odds are you've never noticed it, there is a history page embedded under the "About Us" section, with entries by every head editor from 1998 to 2012. The timeline runs as follows:

  • 1995, give or take a few years: The physical Board is founded
  • 1998: The Board goes online under Andy Pearson, who then hands control over to Matt Astle
  • 2000: Matt Astle passes Headitorship to Eric Carlson
  • 2002: Eric Carlson passes Headitorship to Jennifer Stubben
  • 2003: Jennifer Stubben passes Headitorship to Erin Hallmark; the current system of question numbering is implemented and Board Question #1 is published
  • 2005: The Great BYUSA Drama occurs; Headitorship passes from Erin Hallmark through the Linguistics Society to Ethan Bratt
  • 2006: Ethan Bratt secures the Board's home with the Daily Universe and passes the torch to Sam Orme
  • 2006-2007: Katya numbers all of the pre-2003 questions
  • 2007: Sam Orme passes Headitorship to Yellow
  • 2009: Yellow passes Headitorship to Sky Bones
  • 2010: Board 5.0 (the basis for the current format) is implemented
  • 2012: The partnership between the Board and the Daily Universe ends, as does the tenure of Sky Bones and the public written history of the Board's leadership

As you can see, a few events correspond to major generational transitions. The Board's departure from BYUSA corresponds with the shift from the Early Board to the Middle Board. The implementation of Board 5.0 corresponds with the shift from the Middle Board to the Late Board. Nearly every generational transition, of course, matches up with a change in Headitorship. And with Zedability's retirement and the imminent and unpredictable changes to the Board's web hosting situation, we very well might be on the verge of experiencing the dawn of the sixth generation, which I believe retroactively justifies my three months of procrastination on this answer. Where will this take us? Is it actually a generational shift in writers or just a change in the Board's functionality? We probably won't know for several years, maybe longer. So, Auto Surf, set your calendar for Alumni Week 2020 and don't let me forget.

Until next year,


Question #89437 posted on 04/25/2017 2:38 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why is it that sometimes, when you're on an elevator going up, it feels like you're going down (and vice versa)?



Dear Arg,

Right at about the turn of the 20th century, we thought we knew and understood everything there was to know and understand about physics. Specifically, about pulleys. You've probably heard of a pulley. It's one of the six "simple machines", hypothetical mathematical objects at the basis of theoretical physics, the other five being the level, the wheel and axle, the inclined plane, the box, and the perpetual motion machine. Until recently the only of these objects that had been created experimentally were the pulley, realized during the Renaissance by Leonardo Da Vinci, and the perpetual motion machine, used by the ancient Egyptians and regarded by most scientists to have been gifted to them by an alien race. As such, almost the entirety of "real-world" physics was thought to be the study of pulleys, the basics of which comprise most introductory physics courses. (Of course, what you're taught is a sort of "idealized" version of the pulley. In reality pulleys are actually frictionless, massless, and behave like simple harmonic oscillators. The maths required to study a "real-world" object is generally regarded as too much and is eschewed lest we scare away potential research servants.)

The foundational breakthrough of "modern" physics, then, was the discovery of the box. No one understands how we were able to finally create a "real-world" box* but research into boxes by many turn-of-the-century physicists led to the development of a new branch of physics, quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics is, simply put, the study of what happens inside boxes. You've probably heard of some of the more startling consequences of quantum mechanics, such as Schrödinger's cat, the uncertainty principle, and quantized energy levels. Schrödinger's cat is an interesting experiment carried out by Ewrin Schrödinger in 1935. Schrödinger placed a cat inside a box and observed what happened. Of course, when something is in a box you can't observe it, so there was no way to know what happened. Was the cat dead? Was the cat alive? You can't know until you open the box and look. Sometimes the cat was dead and other times it was alive, but until the box was open there was no way to know. According to one interpretation of quantum mechanics, until the box is open the cat is both simultaneously dead and alive, a situation called a "superposition" or "zombism". In another interpretation (and the interpretation I personally believe) when a box is closed, parallel universes corresponding to the cat being dead or alive and their relative probabilities are created and we are unable to know in which one we reside until the box is opened. The uncertainty principle is a mathematical formalism created by Werner Heisenberg to model what goes on inside boxes. As implied by the name, the uncertainty principle shows deterministically that what occurs inside a box is unknowable. Lastly, quantized energy levels refers to how numbers describing properties of boxes occur in discrete intervals. In the example of Schrödinger's cat, while the cat may have been dead or alive or both, there would always be an integral number of cats.

If you're a student of scientific history, that last consequence may surprise you. In his famous notebook Da Vinci records the results of his experiments which consisted of attaching cats and other objects to pulleys. What he found by so doing is that the object he placed on a pulley could then raise them to any height, even a non-integral number. Mathematically, pulleys are continuous functions while boxes are discrete functions. So what happened when we put a box on a pulley? The startling results were discovered by Elisha Graves Otis, inventor of the elevator. Elisha has assumed that attaching a box to a pulley would allow him to raise that box to any height. To his surprise, boxes on pulleys can only be raised to discrete heights, which Elisha recognized could correspond to the discrete floors in a building, which is how he went on to capitalize on his invention. The actual mathematics of these box/pulley combinations (elevators) are extremely complicated but engineers have perfected them so that there is only a slim chance of dying when you ride one. (You may have noticed how many elevators don't have a 13th floor. This is the most dangerous number and it is very difficult to remain alive when a box is attached to this number.)

So, now that you're primed on elevator mechanics**, a branch of quantum mechanics, let's get to the crux of your question. You're probably familiar with general relativity, a theory of magic proposed by German warlock Albert Einstein. Einstein talked about "gravity" which he found to be how much it felt like you were moving up or down. (One of the more interesting results of Einstein's theory is that "artificial" gravity, that is gravity created by magic, is indistinguishable from "real" gravity, gravity which has existed since the beginning of time.) The problem arises when a person steps into an elevator. What wins? Physics or magic? Einstein's theories fail in the extreme cases of quantum mechanics while quantum mechanics are unable to predict how much it feels like you're moving up and down. Much work in science today is in creating a "unified" theory, one which takes both the science of boxes and combines it with the magic of gravity. So ultimately, we don't know the answer to your question but we hope to someday soon.

-Terrible Scientist

*Nor we will ever be able to, a paradox at the heart of quantum mechanics
**I failed to mention this earlier, but it's worth noting: according to one interpretation of quantum mechanics, elevators are essentially portals to nearly identical parallel universes. Fascinating stuff!

Question #89433 posted on 04/24/2017 12:38 p.m.

Dear Vienna,

How have you been? What's happened in your life this past year?

-My Name Here


Dear Reader (or Writer),

Thanks for asking! How have I been? Well, I guess I've been good, bad, and everything in between. But recently I've been feeling quite good, so that's been nice.

As far as what has happened in my life, what follows is a fairly extensive update that just kind of came out as I started to answer your question:

Part 1: Winter 2016, Or, A Pretty Solid Low Point

Last winter semester was a rough time in my life. The roughest, even. My three great roommates from the fall semester had all left me—two for missions and one for the ILP program in China. Beyond that, most of my other friends seemed to have either gotten married or entered serious relationships during or around the winter break. All this got me feeling pretty down and pretty lonely. And, sadly, I kind of withdrew from the good things that remained in my life as a result.

That was a mistake. If you ever find yourself going through a similar rough patch, cling to the good you still have.

In conjunction with all of this, I also hit a low point as far as my testimony of the Gospel and my relationship with God were concerned. I don’t have depression, but at the start of last year I spent a couple of months feeling depressed and confused.

This sounds like a sad way to start my life update, and it is. But I am doing so because GUESS WHAT. Life has turned around so much for me in the last year, it’s almost a bit shocking. The point: don’t give up when life gets hard. Keep going forward in living the Gospel. Keep going forward in your goals. If it has felt like God has forgotten you, He has not.

Part 2: Summer 2016, Or, The Beauties and Terrors of EFY

Over the summer of 2016 I was an EFY counselor. I got next to no sleep for two months and had to push myself outside my comfort zone pretty much hourly, but it was an experience that came at the right time in my life. I LOVED those kids. Heck, I still love them. And, most importantly, EFY helped me to (slowly) re-strengthen my testimony, my spirituality, and my relationship with God. Those things have all been on a consistent, upward trajectory since then, and I am very grateful for this.

Part 3: Fall 2016, Or, So Many Medical Problems You Would Think I'm 80

After EFY was over I lived at my parents’ house in Mapleton until the beginning of November. The most notable thing from those months was the fact that I got diagnosed with about a jillion medical problems. I’m not gonna cover each of them, but I’ll cover the main two.

The first thing that happened was that half of my face got paralyzed. Yeah. You read that right. For about two weeks my right ear was in near-constant agony and I could barely hear out of it. But nobody could figure out why. Turns out I had shingles in my ear. And, apparently, one of the side effects of that is that, once the shingles are gone, half your face gets paralyzed. It’s called Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. So that was an exciting few weeks. (I’m happy to report that my face is now back to normal except for some super slight paralysis that can only be noticed if I scrunch up my face real tight.)

The second thing that happened was that I got diagnosed with Graves' disease, which is mainly characterized by hyperthyroidism. We found out because, despite the fact that I was eating more and more, I kept losing weight for some inexplicable reason. In addition, my resting heart rate kept hovering around 100 BPM. I got some blood tests done and they were like, “Well, that’s wack. You have Graves' disease.” If I take the meds I’m supposed to take, the side effects aren’t too bad. If I don’t take them (or even sometimes when I do) there will be moments when I’ll just be sitting on the coach, minding my own business, and then my heart will start beating at 150 BPM. It’s pretty crazy.

I can actually name at least four other medical things I had to deal with in the last year, but let’s be real, you did not ask for a medical update, haha. This has gone too far already.

Part 4.1: Winter 2017, Or, I Love My New Roommates So Much

One of the very best things that has happened in the past year happened on November 1st. I moved back to my old ward, into a new apartment with three girls that I only kind of knew.

BEST. DECISION. EVER. They are so amazing I want to cry just thinking about it. They are a big part of why I am so happy these days. I can’t even tell you how many nights our roommate scripture study has turned into us staying up on our couches, talking until 2 in the morning. I feel so grateful to have each of them in my life. Good people make a big difference. And my roommates are really, really good people.

Part 4.2: Winter 2017, Or, I Almost Died in The Wilderness

After taking a really cool class on the politics of wilderness and wildlife last semester, I was feeling pretty outdoorsy and signed up for a survival skills class called Wilderness Trek. The final for the class is a four day survival experience in the wilderness where you don't really get to bring anything except for a sleeping bag and a couple of knives. I'll just go ahead and leave y'all with my journal entry upon returning from that whole thing:

"Well, wow. I'm back from what were actually the most miserable and discouraging days of my whole life. I don't super want to talk about it right now, but I do think that one day I'll want to remember it all so here we go:

We meet at 4:30 pm at the RB and I am so nervous I can barely talk. We wait there a while, and then the TAs have us go inside and start working on these pine needle baskets. Weird. The nerves continue. Finally, we get in the vans and start driving. Things are okay then. I bond with the people in my van. We drive like an hour west of Santaquin and then stop on this wide road in the middle of nowhere. Eight miles we walk, starting at 11 pm. We make "camp" which is just our sleeping bags with some blankets thrown over our heads.

In the middle of the night, I start to feel water seeping into my sleeping bag. Rain. Rain aaaalllll night—then snow in the morning. All through the night to the moment I "woke up" I was soaked. And so was everything else. In the snow, I put on my soaked clothes and I think it's around that time that the hypothermia started. So. Not. Fun. I remember violent shaking and not being able to see for two minutes, but honestly most of it is a blur. When I kind of came to I didn't even know to whom the clothing articles I was wearing belonged. All I really remember about the hours that followed was staring straight ahead into the fire (that the TAs made), not saying a word, for hours.

Then, around 4 pm, we left (for safety reasons). That hadn't happened for 18 years. We went back at 7 am the next day and, somehow, that day was even worse (maybe because I was conscious of my surroundings the whole time). It was a day that was just SO discouraging. Nothing I did (making shelter, rope, arrowheads, etc.) was great. And I could NOT get fire, which was holy depressing. I must have banged that piece of steel on that rock 10,000 times to no avail. I worked all day without a break and with no food, but barely had any fruit to show for it.

Then the cold came and it was just me—shivering in a ball in my "shelter." So rough. I ended up leaving my shelter to pace back and forth—just to keep warm. Well, not warm—just less cold. At 11 pm someone finally came and got me. (Oh yeah, I was alone all day, did I say that?)

So yeah. The whole experience was awful but here's what I learned:

1) There are some things I am not good at in life. And that's okay.

2) Alone, I am nothing. But not in a sad way. It's just objectively true. I can accomplish nothing without God and without the help of others.

3) Everything I have is thanks to the millions who have come before me and made the world what it is. It's also thanks to the wonderful people around me. (And there are some wonderful people around me.) And of course, it's ALL thanks to God. In the forest, I made a mental list of things I knew I got to go back to. At the time, it was hard to believe that those things were real. But they are real. And there were so many things on my list. I am truly blessed."

Hmm. I feel like that journal entry still doesn't describe what those two and a half days (the final was cut short) were really like, but oh well. You can only really get it if you were there, I think. Also, here is a picture of me sitting by the fire in the clothes that were not mine, waiting to get "rescued" after getting hypothermia. I feel a lot of emotion when I look at it.

 17636862_10208923479030383_8794140841044295182_o (1).jpg

Part 4.3: Winter 2017, Or, A Pretty Great Time of Life

This semester has had its stresses (like the wilderness trek, for instance), but a lot of good things have happened.

I decided to push myself and apply for some jobs that I knew would be a bit harder to get than the types of jobs I usually apply for, and I got both of them! I now work at the FHSS Writing Lab and as a fellow in the Writing Fellows program. I’ve learned a lot from both jobs so that’s been great.

I also finished almost all of my education classes this semester. All that’s left now is to do my practicum and take another economics class in the fall. Then I’ll do student teaching and will graduate this time next year. Pretty crazy.

One of the best things that has happened this semester is that I have started to date one of my close friends. He is an excellent person whom I like a lot. 

Also this semester I ate too many chicken nuggets, got a gym membership (those things balance each other out, right?), listened/danced to a lot of Grimes, Daft Punk, Talking Heads and Carly Rae Jepsen, saw someone throw a flaming Christmas tree out of a window at the Village, spent the night in a levitating tent surrounded by stars, and got to go through the temple with my little sister.

Part 5: Summer 2017, Or, I Think This is Gonna Be Good

My summer has basically started already, since I have no finals and am more or less done with everything else.

My only real plans this summer are to work, play, and relax. I just got a job at the biggest pizza restaurant west of the Mississippi (you can probably guess what place I’m referring to). One of my close friends, Kelly, also got hired there, so it should be pretty fun.

Other than that, this summer I want to read the New Testament, attend the temple many times, bike as much as my hyperthoidratic (not a word) heart will allow me to, and read many of the books on my to-read list. It's gonna be a really good summer. Also, I just bought a hammock. So let's add hammocking (apparently also not a word?) to that list.

Part 6: Conclusion, Or, Some Unsolicited Parting Words

So that's pretty much it for an update on my life. I'm sorry for hijacking so much scrolling space on the Board with this long entry. To be honest, it's felt kind of nice to reflect on everything. I'm realizing that it has been a pretty hard year for me, if you look at it a certain way. But I don't feel disheartened by it all anymore. I mostly just feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I am very grateful for where I'm at now, for all I have learned, and for all I have yet to learn. I am happy.

I'm also thinking that I'm probably not going to respond to any other Board questions this time around, so I wanted to leave some unsolicited parting words here:

Hey. All you out there. There is really a God. And, crazy as it may sometimes seem, He really does love you. Everybody that has ever lived deserves to know that. You deserve to know that. You have some of God's love within you. You have talents and abilities that are unique to you. You need others, but others also need you. 

That all probably sounds a bit cheesy, but I believe it all so deeply that I don't really care.

I hope that all is well with all the readers (and the writers) out there. And if things aren't well, just hold on.

So Much Love,


Question #89379 posted on 04/22/2017 7:02 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why is AIDS associated with homosexuality, and why at the peak of the American epidemic did it primarily affect gay men? It can be transmitted via any kind of sex, right? So shouldn't it show up at the same rate in heterosexuals as in those with other sexual orientations?



Dear Thusly,

Thanks for asking this question. As a member of the gay community (albeit the gay female community), accuracy and historical understanding is really important to me.

Current US AIDS statistics

Before we go back in time to how things got this way, let's review the current HIV/AIDS statistics. According to the CDC's statistics on HIV in the United States, HIV continues to affect the gay and bisexual male community disproportionately. (From here on out, I'm going to use GBM for "Gay and Bisexual Men," just to make this less clunky.) While there are positive developments related to HIV in the States (for example, new cases declined by almost 20% between 2005 and 2014), 67% of all people with new HIV diagnoses in 2015 were GBM. Heterosexual sexual contact accounted for 24% of all new HIV diagnoses, and IV drug use accounted for 6%. So, even today, while you can contract HIV from heterosexual sex and injection drug use, GBM have more new HIV diagnoses than any other group. The reasons for this are a little complicated and they go back decades.

Very important sidenote: HIV continues to be a major issue in the American LGBTQ community today, because it affects a disproportionate number of people of color. In 2015, black GBM had the most new HIV diagnoses at 26% of all new cases, and white GBM had the second most new HIV diagnoses at 19%. The most troubling part of these statistics is that, while white GBM experienced a decline of 18% of new HIV diagnoses between 2005 and 2014, new cases among Latino/Hispanic and African American GBM each rose by more than 20%. New HIV diagnoses among young African American GBM rose by 87% over the same time period. These higher rates of infection have to do with increased stigma in the culture of those groups and with all of the ways those groups are disenfranchised: lower education levels, poverty, less access to medical care, higher levels of migration, possible language barriers, and higher rates of other STIs. These increases in new cases, however, are also reflections of some of the issues that helped to deepen the original AIDS epidemic back in the 1980s.

Stonewall, gay liberation, and the arrival of HIV/AIDS

So, let's go backward in time and get a little American gay history. Before 1969, the American LGBTQ community was almost completely deeply closeted. Any dating, sex, or identifying as LGBTQ had to be done in secret, and if you were outed you were ruined. LGBTQ people were disowned by their families, fired from their jobs, kicked out of their housing, and condemned and derided by their religious leaders. LGBTQ people were also frequently murdered or beaten and they had no way of defending themselves, because standing up for themselves would have meant outing themselves. Some bars became de facto gay meeting places. The police would conduct raids, which were often very violent, and they would haul the people they found in the bars off to jail, outing them and ruining their lives. In one such bar in Manhattan, called the Stonewall Inn, the police conducted a raid in June of 1969. A series of violent demonstrations lasting six days erupted in response during which LGBTQ people began fighting back. (Note: The Stonewall riots were started by transgender women of color, not white gay men.) While there had been earlier demonstrations in response to police raids, the Stonewall riots were the first to be significantly publicized. This event motivated the LGBTQ community to come together in an organized, out way to fight for more equality. It also led to the LGBTQ community being willing to use less socially acceptable methods in advocating for themselves. They went from marching in straight lines dressed in Sunday best in 1968 to holding hands with their partners at a protest in July 1969. It was an abrupt and powerful change. It's also why Gay Pride events are traditionally held in June.

Anyway, Stonewall kicked off a new chapter gay liberation movement. On the one-year anniversary of Stonewall, June 28, 1970, the first American gay pride marches (then called Gay Liberation Day parades or by other names) were held in Chicago and Los Angeles. By 1972, gay pride marches happened in 12 American cities. An early gay rights advocate, Frank Kameny, who did highly influential work with the Mattachine Society in the 1950s and 60s, said that at the time of Stonewall there were 50 or 60 gay rights organizations in the United States. A year later, he estimated that there were more than 1,500. In 1973, two elected officials in Ann Arbor came out. In 1974, a different incumbent in Ann Arbor who had come out was reelected. In 1976, an openly gay non-incumbent named Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. After the team behind it successfully passed homophobic legislation in states across the country, the Briggs Initiative was defeated in California in 1978. Harvey Milk and other California gay rights leaders advocated coming out as a strategy to defeat the measure in order, believing that homophobia would diminish once people knew they loved a gay person. This was a new idea for a community that had been almost completely closeted less than a decade before. It's really hard to overstate the changes the community went through in this brief time. Suddenly it was easy to find many other gay people who understood you, not just in bars but out in the open, provided that you could get to a major city. It was possible and positive to advocate for your own better treatment. People began coming out, freeing themselves from the limits of the closet, and moving to cities with large gay populations. San Francisco and New York became especially prominent gay centers. 

In places like San Francisco and New York in the 1970s, people were consciously shaking off the shame of the closet. They were consciously deciding to celebrate who they were. One of the ways that GBM in these centers celebrated who they were was through sex. These men had spent their entire lives pretending to be (and often trying to be) something different than what they were. They had been made to fear for their lives, their souls, their jobs, and their relationships for being attracted to who they were attracted to. A major value in the gay male community of the day, therefore, was free love. They refused to be hemmed in by societal expectations, as society had made it clear that it did not want them. It's worth mentioning, of course, that American society at large had undergone a sexual revolution during the 1960s, so straight people were also having more sex with less guilt than they had before. The free sexual environment during the gay liberation movement was one extension of that. People also started coming out very young and moving to large cities with large gay populations, so teenage and young adult men were offered unlimited, joyful sex with as many partners as they wanted, and they took it. Because free love was such a prominent value in the gay male community, the bathhouses were a major community center. There was also a cavalier attitude about condom use because prominent STIs of the time period, such as chlamydia, were curable with antibiotics. Condoms were also seen as a straight problem, as pregnancy was not an issue and no one had received sex education that included the risks of same-sex sexual behavior. Recreational drug use was also pretty common. Poppers, a then-popular inhalant that causes an intense high popular at clubs, were especially ubiquitous. Poppers can lead to a more intense sexual experience with less buildup, which can lead to more tearing of the mucous membranes, which causes easier transmission of HIV. Anal sex, whether between homosexual or heterosexual partners, is also more likely to cause tearing than other types of sex because the lining of the rectum is very thin, and anal sex is a prominent sexual act in the GBM community. More importantly, HIV more easily permeates the mucous membranes in the intestines, including the rectum, than the mucous membranes of the vagina or the mouth. (Receptive anal sex is by far the most risky sexual behavior in terms of HIV, followed by insertive anal sex and vaginal sex. Oral sex and other sexual acts pose little to no risk.)

To sum up: Large communities of gay men came together to celebrate their newfound freedom. A prominent expression of that freedom was sex, with as many partners as one wanted, most of whom were also having very large amounts of sex with many partners. This was done without protection, which increased the risk. This created a prime scenario for widespread HIV infection. Note: It's really important not to judge the early gay male community for this. They were just beginning to reclaim themselves from shame following being completely rejected by society, their families, and their religions. Suicide was very common among LGBTQ people at this time. The community engaged in some unwise behavior (with the best intentions behind their value system), but the penalty for that behavior should not be a slow, painful, undignified mass death that wipes out an entire community. They did not deserve what they got.

AIDS, yet undiscovered and undescribed, had caused symptoms such as wasting in Africa by the mid-1970s, and there is evidence that it killed a Norwegian sailor in 1976. HIV arrived in the States sometime around 1970 or 1971, probably from Haiti, where it arrived around 1966. Many Haitians worked in the parts of Africa where HIV originated around the turn of the 20th century. It arrived in New York pretty soon thereafter and arrived in San Francisco around 1976. Once HIV arrived in the concentrated gay male communities in cities like San Francisco and New York, it was quickly passed from person to person. Making matters worse, HIV is asymptomatic for years, so no one in those communities knew what was happening until people were dying and many of them were infected. By the time that Harvey Milk's murderer was convicted of voluntary manslaughter rather than first degree murder using a highly dubious defense in 1979, an estimated 10% of the gay men in San Francisco were already infected.

A history of scientific advancements in HIV/AIDS research and treatment, 1981-1995

In 1981, the disease that would later be named AIDS was medically observed and described for the first time. The CDC published a report of unusual cases of pneumocystis pneumonia in five gay men in Los Angeles. Pneumocystis pneumonia only occurs in people with suppressed immune systems, but there was no reason for these young, seemingly healthy men to have it. Over the next year or so, more clusters of pneumocystis pneumonia and other opportunistic infections, such as Kaposi sarcoma, were discovered. Because the first medically documented cases of AIDS were among gay men, in 1982 the disease was named GRID, Gay-Related Immune Deficiency. It was not yet known what caused AIDS or how it was transmitted, but AIDS' first name connected it solely to the gay community. During this same time, AIDS was also called "the gay cancer," with some, both inside and outside the community, believing that just being gay was making these people die, and some people feeling that gay people deserved this apparent punishment from God. Medical professionals soon noticed that half the men with AIDS were not homosexuals, though most of the others were Haitians, (IV) heroin-users, or hemophiliacs. This caused some people to begin calling it 4-H Disease. By late 1982, the CDC had coined the term AIDS and declared that there was a sexual component to its transmission, though they still did not know what caused it.

Medical progress on HIV was slow. The virus that would be named HIV in 1986 was discovered in 1983 and again separately in 1984. The virus would later be confirmed to be the cause of AIDS. In September 1983 the CDC had mapped all of HIV's major transmission routes, including sexual contact (opposite sex as well as same sex), IV drug use, blood transfusions, and from mother to child during childbirth. They ruled out transmission through casual contact and transmission through the air or water. In November 1983, the WHO held its first meeting to assess the AIDS situation. By this time, over 1,200 Americans had already died of the disease. When HIV was discovered the second time in 1984, the researcher who discovered it estimated that there would be a vaccine within two years. It would take almost that long for a screening test for HIV to become available. By this time, an estimated 50% of the gay men in San Francisco were already infected. A more specific HIV screening test was not available until 1987, a month after AZT, the first drug approved to treat AIDS, was approved by the FDA. Prior to AZT, AIDS was universally fatal, and death usually occurred one to two years after diagnosis with AIDS. Because AZT was not effective by itself, was prohibitively expensive, and had side effects which were intolerable to many people who tried to take it, AZT did not much improve the situation. AZT also did not stop people from eventually succumbing to the disease. Protease inhibitors, which began the era of effective AIDS treatment, were not available until 1995. By then, around 300,000 Americans had died of AIDS. Earlier in 1995, the New York Times had reported that AIDS had become the leading cause of death for all Americans between the ages of 25 and 44.

Effects on the gay community and other affected communities

AIDS devastated the gay community. Many thousands died. People lost friends, lovers, and partners at such a staggering rate that by the later 1980s many had lost count. Many survivors compare their experiences at the height of the epidemic to living in a war zone. Many of them felt that they would all die. At the height of the epidemic, the Bay Area Reporter, a gay weekly San Francisco newspaper, published as many as 31 AIDS-related obituaries in one week. Its annual retrospectives featuring all who had died of AIDS during that year went on for pages and pages. It took until 1998 for the Reporter to publish an issue with no AIDS-related obituaries.

Hospitals would refuse to treat AIDS patients out of fear of being labeled an "AIDS hospital." Funeral homes refused to take the bodies of those who died of AIDS or hold funerals for them. Some airlines would not allow people with AIDS to fly. People would not even go near the infected, especially the sick. Opportunistic infections associated with AIDS caused a host of medical problems, such as blindness, deafness, wasting, pneumonia, cancer, profound weakness, and intense pain. With no one else to help, members of the gay community did a heroic job of helping themselves. Countless organizations were started within the community to address the various needs of a sick and dying populace. Meals were delivered to those too ill to cook for themselves who were dying of wasting. Friends took turns caring for each other, rotating between who was well. Counseling and companionship services were set up so no one had to face death alone when his friends had all died before him. When funeral homes could not be found, they buried their dead themselves. Money was shared. One HIV+ San Francisco artist even started a charity to ensure that artists had access to art supplies when they could no longer afford them because they could not work and had huge medical expenses. Cleve Jones, a gay rights and AIDS activist, started the AIDS Memorial Quilt, which was first shown on the National Mall in Washington in 1987. All of this was done by people who were sick themselves and staring down what was, at the time, inevitable death.

Profoundly, the lesbian community, which had long been mistreated and excluded by the gay male community (as well as being mistreated by and excluded from women's groups at the same time), stepped in and cared for sick gay men when no one else would. Sex between women is at very low risk for HIV transmission, so lesbians were not dying or sick. Still, lesbians came to the aid of gay men when they needed it most in a matchless way. They participated in every AIDS-related relief organization, took up AIDS advocacy, and took care of the sick and dying. Many survivors of the AIDS epidemic have said that we would all be lucky to belong to a community that took care of its own in the way that the gay community did during that time. If Stonewall proved that queers were not limp-wristed fairies who would weakly accept mistreatment, the community's response to AIDS proved that they were not two-dimensional, sex-crazed degenerates. They cared for each other selflessly and courageously.

Misconceptions of how the disease was spread and homophobia combined to create intense fear and hatred toward AIDS victims, especially gay men but also people with hemophilia and people who contracted AIDS through blood transfusions. The hemophilia community was also devastated by AIDS. 90% of those with severe hemophilia contracted HIV during the 1980s and thousands died. Young children with hemophilia who contracted AIDS were stopped from going to school by the hateful protests and threats of their neighbors. The homes of one family with children with hemophilia and AIDS was burned down to force family out of the community. Infected children were called the worst gay slurs. People who contracted AIDS through blood transfusions faced similar discrimination. Still, activists from these communities fought back and made meaningful contributions in the fight against AIDS. Ryan White, a child with hemophilia who contracted AIDS, became the national face of children with AIDS who fought to continue to attend school. Arthur Ashe, a famous tennis player, contracted HIV from a blood transfusion during heart surgery. In 1992 he publicly announced that he had AIDS, facing incredible scrutiny, and then he created his own foundation to raise awareness and educate people on safe sex and AIDS.

Political negligence and homophobia

One of the reasons that medical progress was slow and that the AIDS epidemic lasted as long as it did was apathy on the part of the government and especially the president. Though he publicly opposed the Briggs Initiative in 1978, then-President Reagan ignored the AIDS crisis, believing it to be a gay issue rather than a health issue. A significant portion of President Reagan's base was the then-newly identified religious right. The Moral Majority, a new political organization, contributed to this movement, and its founder, Baptist minister Jerry Falwell, once said, "AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharaoh's charioteers." In 1983, while Ronald Reagan was president but two years before he would serve as President Reagan's Director of Communications, Pat Buchanan wrote an op ed in the New York Post that said, in part, "The poor homosexuals -- they have declared war on nature, and now nature is exacting an awful retribution." It also described the gay community as "a common carrier of dangerous, communicable, and sometimes fatal diseases." Perhaps because of all this pressure, and the fact that President Reagan had campaigned as an anti-gay candidate in 1980, Reagan did not even say the word AIDS in public until 1985. This came after a famous actor (whom Reagan had known personally) named Rock Hudson died and mutual friend Elizabeth Taylor urged President Reagan to acknowledge that now he, too, knew someone with AIDS. In 1987, near the end of President Reagan's second term, he did finally address the issue of AIDS at the third International Conference on AIDS. By then, almost 21,000 Americans had died.

Meanwhile, Dr. C. Everett Koop, the surgeon general, has said that he was kept out of all AIDS discussions during the first five years of the Reagan administration. According to Dr. Koop, this was "because transmission of AIDS was understood to be primarily in the homosexual population and in those who abused intravenous drugs" and due to the attitude of the president's advisers, which was "they are only getting what they justly deserve." Treatment and research professionals at every level, including at the CDC and NIH, constantly requested more funding than they had to deal with the AIDS crisis. Their requests were routinely denied. President Reagan publicly opposed an increase in spending on AIDS research when the most prominent AIDS researcher in the country said that the current funding was "not nearly enough." Members of the administration publicly lobbied against sex and AIDS education both in high-risk communities and in schools. President Reagan eventually spoke out to agree with them. Along this vein, President Reagan said in 1987, "After all, when it comes to preventing AIDS, don't medicine and morality teach the same lessons?" In 1985, President Reagan directly contributed to the anti-AIDS (and thereby the anti-gay) hysteria that was keeping children with AIDS out of schools when he answered a question at a press conference about whether he would send his child to a school with a child who had AIDS. He said, "I'm glad I'm not faced with that problem today. ... It is true that some medical sources had said that this cannot be communicated in any way other than the ones we already know and which would not involve a child being in the school. And yet medicine has not come forth unequivocally and said, 'This we know for a fact, that it is safe.' And until they do, I think we just have to do the best we can with this problem. I can understand both sides of it." The CDC had, in fact, stated unequivocally that transmission through casual contact or the air was not possible two years earlier.

At a press conference in 1982, a reporter asked the press secretary about the epidemic and whether President Reagan had ever spoken about it. "I don't know a thing about it," the press secretary said. After the reporter pointed out that 1 in 3 people with the disease had died from what was then called the "gay plague," the press pool laughed and, as they did so, the press secretary said, "I don't have it. Do you?" Over the next year, the same reporter would ask the same questions about the epidemic with the same result -- laughter. The press secretary once retorted that the reporter had an "abiding interest" in "fairies." The president said nothing.

President Reagan failed to control the homophobic and AIDS-phobic attitudes of his administration and party, and he himself demonstrated apathy and a lack of vision on AIDS during his presidency from 1981 to 1989. President Bush would bring more of the same. The tide would not begin to turn until a gay AIDS activist named Bob Rafsky aggressively confronted then-candidate Bill Clinton at a 1992 campaign rally and Clinton responded by publicly promising to address the AIDS epidemic and support its victims. By then, approximately 200,000 Americans had died of AIDS.

ACT UP, fight back, fight AIDS

In addition to the political climate, treatments were initially nonexistent and then expensive and ineffective, and the process to get medications approved at that time seemed needlessly and negligently long to AIDS activists. It took six years from the initial CDC report on AIDS for the first AIDS treatment drug, AZT, to be tested and approved. At that time, over 20,000 Americans had died of the disease and the average life expectancy from diagnosis was one to two years. Though AZT, which had was originally developed as a cancer drug, had been approved in record time, the approval process had still taken 25 months. Facing death in less time than the process took to approve already-existing drugs, AIDS activists were enraged. AZT was also the most expensive drug in history, costing about $10,000 for a year of treatment. ($10,000 in 1987 adjusted for inflation is roughly equal to $21,000 in 2017.) This was well outside what the average AIDS patient could afford.

In response to these and other issues, a direct action advocacy group called ACT UP (AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power) was formed in March 1987 at the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center in New York. ACT UP's motto of "Silence=Death" and its ability to turn out hundreds or thousands of people to protests (many of whom were arrested each time) got it and its concerns widespread media coverage, and they got results. Several days after its first series of protests at Wall Street in late March and early April 1987, in which they protested the lack of a national, coordinated strategy on AIDS, the lack of transparency of and access to the drug testing process, and the high price of AZT, the company that owned AZT announced that the price would drop to $6,400 per year. Soon thereafter, the FDA announced plans to significantly shorten the time it took to get through the approval process.

In 1988, ACT UP successfully shut down the FDA for a day in order to process the continuing issues with drug testing. The turnout to this protest, the media said, was the largest event of its kind since the Vietnam War, and it resulted in massive media coverage. At this event, the protesters were able to demonstrate how knowledgeable and savvy they had become when they demanded specific improvements that could be made. As a result, gay and AIDS activists were asked for input by the FDA and NIH and were allowed greater access.

During this time, AIDS activists assumed that there was an existing drug that, if tried on AIDS alone or in combination with other existing drugs, would be effective. They therefore pushed for, and got, much shorter testing and approval processes on many drugs, including DDI, which helped prevent blindness caused by one of the opportunistic infections associated with AIDS. They also fought for the right to use other drugs which were believed to be potentially helpful against AIDS but which were not approved by the FDA despite being available over the counter in other industrialized nations. This was especially important to the community because AZT was initially given in extremely high doses which caused side effects that were often intolerable to AIDS patients. (None of these drugs proved to be effective against AIDS.) ACT UP also fought for more humane testing protocols, representation of people of color, women's issues, housing protections, and accurate reporting of AIDS facts and against homophobia, religious intolerance, unfair travel and immigration policies based on AIDS status, and apathy. In a time of intense homophobia and AIDS-phobia, and without any government support, ACT UP was able to make many extremely positive changes for people with AIDS.

A part of ACT UP, called the Treatment and Data Committee, specialized in learning about the testing and approval process for drugs as well as the current science behind drug development. They were aided by a chemist named Iris Long, who had no prior connection to the LGBTQ community. After listening to their approach, she suggested that she could help them improve it. She taught the members of Treatment and Data about the current AIDS drugs and the ins and outs of the testing and approval process. They began to digest huge amounts of the medical and testing literature and bring that information back to the larger body of ACT UP. Because they were so knowledgeable, they were taken seriously by the scientific community and they were able to gain unprecedented access to the process. They were able to secure a position of power for people with AIDS and make real contributions. This was especially true after they wrote and presented a pamphlet which outlined specific and realistic changes that could be made to drug testing to make it more time effective and humane.

Treatment and Data eventually split off from the main body of ACT UP due to conflict within the group. The main body of ACT UP felt that Treatment and Data had become too close to oppressive pharmaceutical companies and other negative forces, and Treatment and Data felt that ACT UP was overly concerned with social issues. In 1992, Treatment and Data became TAG (Treatment Action Group). The members sat on committees at the FDA, such as the Anti-Viral Advisory Committee, and they were vital to streamlining the process and personally designing the trials that led to the release of protease inhibitors, which in combination with other drugs transformed AIDS from a death sentence to a manageable chronic disease. In 1995 and 1996, the death rates related to AIDS dropped dramatically, and many people's viral loads dropped to undetectable levels. TAG was vital to this process that has since saved millions of lives and restored life expectancies to normal or near-normal. One of the founders of TAG, Mark Harrington, was awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant in 1997 for his work on AIDS. Together, ACT UP and TAG's gains in access to all steps of the process for victims and advocates were unprecedented for any disease. Patient-centered care, medical care homes, patient advocacy, and other movements all have their roots in AIDS activism.


I believe I have answered your second question (in case I haven't: societal factors and activists energized gay liberation, gay men were concentrated into metropolitan areas with shared risky behaviors, the majority of gay men were infected, existing prevalence within the group with limited partners made each sex act more risky, anal sex is the most risky sex act for HIV transmission, and ongoing issues related to education, etc. continue to contribute), so now I will circle back to your first one: Why is AIDS associated with homosexuality? There are a lot of bad reasons for this, of course. As I said in the beginning, HIV continues to affect GBM (especially GBM of color) more than it affects other groups. A lot of it also has to do with homophobia, because AIDS gave a convenient excuse to hate and fear gay people that seemed pseudo-scientific and was widespread. The attitude persists among many that the gay community got what it deserved, either because it had offended God or because it had engaged in reckless and (per their opinion) immoral, unnatural, or disgusting behavior. The stigma is still potent enough that I have a positive friend who has told no one but me about his status.

However, I think there are a lot of good reasons for this, too. The AIDS epidemic was an almost incomprehensible tragedy for all involved. However, when faced with death, disease, fear, loss, hatred, lack of support, violence, and their own mortality, the gay community and their supporters showed the world how to deal with tragedy. They showed up for each other in ways that most of us will never understand. They advocated for their community even when they were sure that they themselves would die in case they could save lives. They forgave each other for serious slights in order to help each other. They showed incredible bravery and intelligence and they did not allow the outside hatred to turn inward. I am incredibly proud to belong to their group.

The AIDS crisis brought attention to the LGBTQ community, and the community pulled together in that tragedy. Both of these circumstances have enabled the community to make all of the recent advancements in LGBTQ rights. We also, however, lost a generation of brilliant, vibrant, beautiful people who cannot be replaced. If you are interested in this topic, there are two documentaries, both on Netflix, which I cannot recommend enough. How to Survive a Plague is about ACT UP and TAG in New York during the height of the epidemic. We Were Here is about life in San Francisco before, during, and just after the epidemic.

- The Black Sheep

Question #89345 posted on 04/16/2017 1:44 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Is mayonnaise an instrument?

-Patrick Star


Dear Pat,

I did some research.



 17858375_1664134226948330_1417542436_o (1)_1.jpg


Keep it real,
Sherpa Dave 

Question #89268 posted on 05/08/2017 10:08 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'm looking for religious artwork to use in my new home. In particular, I'm looking for paintings of Christ. My frustration is that all of the paintings of Christ I am finding are very...white, and I'm looking for artwork that is more reflective of what Christ really looked like, as well as artwork that is representative of how other non-white cultures conceptualize Christ. What are your favorite pieces of artwork of Christ that don't depict him as obviously white?



Dear frog princess,

Sorry I held this over for so long, but hopefully this will be worth your while. 

This question came in just a few days after a piece in the Provo Temple made me cry. Looking back on it, Christ is quite light-skinned, but I like that he's still ethnically ambiguous. And that his deep-set eyes still shine. I'll have to find a place to hang this one when I one day have means to buy it. Here it is, by Jeff Hein:  

 Screen Shot 2017-04-12 at 4.49.37 PM.png

That was my favorite portrayal when I first read the question, but then I got excited and made tables of more. 

 1: "Maybe You Could Find Me in Seagull Book" 

You can see the same table but with previews of the photos here. 

Artist Site Artwork
Jeff Hein
Christ Heals the Sick Christ Washing Apostle's Feet  
Jeremy Winborg
And He Blessed Them One By One The Raising of the Daughter of Jairus  
Brent Borup
Greatest In the Kingdom (Boy) Greatest In the Kingdom (Girl) That They Might Have Joy
Howard Lyon
Redeemer Light of the World Though Your Sins be as Scarlet
Greg Olsen
Out of the Wilderness Joy of the Lord The Way of Joy

 Some comments: 

-Depedning on the artist, Christ may be more or less light-skinned. However, the facial structure and features don't seem to be typical Anglo-Saxon features. 
-I'm a big fan of Brent Bessop, and his are a bit more affordable than others, depending on the style. Plus, it seems easier to commission from him if you wanted. 

1.B: I actually went to Deseret Book and snapped shots of ones I thought you might like. 

Here's that table. Most of them are by David Bowman, and I've become a big fan of his work. 


2. From the Alumni

Pilgrim showed me this picture, which is strikingly beautiful. And Heidi Book shared some nativity scenes that she got from a friend who's an art history major, and looking at them made me want to be an art history major, for there seems to be a lot of truth that my untrained eyes can't see. Here is the table of those paintings.


3. He is not here, for He is risen.  

Based on the following quote from Greg Olsen, these next few paintings  all by artist Ron Richmond  might be some of my absolute favorites. 

“The idea of doing a painting which somehow claims to be a representation of the Savior Jesus Christ seems both presumptuous and impossible. At the very least it is intimidating. Each individual Christian probably has a very personal and unique image of Him in their mind, none of which an artist can duplicate or fully capture. My intent has been to paint images that I refer to as “symbols” of Him. They are an attempt to capture my feelings about Him and to reflect some aspect of His spirit and character. The intent of such a painting is to help us remember Him, and as we do, we invite His spirit to be with us.” 

Screen Shot 2017-05-07 at 3.51.08 PM.pngsourceScreen Shot 2017-05-07 at 3.51.17 PM.pngsource

These works, with the human figure being absent but the heartfelt characteristic standing strong, remind me that Christ is in everything. Through their principles I can better understand that the physical world is a key to understanding the spiritual.

I met this artist once, and we joked that some people don't like his paintings because they are a bit 'dark' to represent Christ.  But, the way I see it in order to complete his mission, Christ had to become well-acquainted with darkness. How else could He overcome it? And how else can we, but through him? 

Take care,

-Auto Surf

Question #89259 posted on 03/31/2017 11:52 p.m.

Dear The Board,

Can you help me come up with 30 synonyms for the adjective "little," listed in order of size? For example, would you consider wee to be bigger or smaller than tiny?

-Nellie Bly

Dear Nancy,
Here is a completely objective and non-arbitrary list of synonyms for little with their relative sizes, starting with the most Lilliputian. 
  1. Infinitesimal: the size of an individual element in the Cantor Set (fun fact: the Cantor Set has a length of 0, but is still uncountably infinite; it's also perfect).
  2. Microscopic: the size of a single cell.
  3. Imperceptible: the size of a dust mote.
  4. Negligible: Just one more bite of something delicious.
  5. Minuscule: the physical energy it takes to type out these words.
  6. Teensy weensy: the amount of relief I ever feel during a semester; oh I just somehow finished a difficult midterm in an hour since that's when the testing center closed? Time to get ready for the even harder midterm directly following it!
  7. Eensy weensy: the size of a spider baby
  8. Itsby bitsy: the size of two spider babies.
  9. Miniature: the size of the angels dancing on the head of a pin.
  10. Diminutive: the size of the Who Horton hears.
  11. Minute: the space between two stitches in a dress.
  12. Itty bitty: the inside of a jinni's lamp.
  13. Puny: the size of our ambitions when compared with the vastness of all of space and time.
  14. Teeny: the size of a baby's hand.
  15. Mini: the size of Mickey Mouse.
  16. Meager: the size of meals in communist China
  17. Scant: the size of meals in communist Russia.
  18. Compact: the size of micro-fiber towels.
  19. Tiny: the size of a newborn.
  20. Runty: the size of Piglet.
  21. Wee: the size of a two-year old child.
  22. Shrimpy: the size of the ten year old who looks like a six year old.
  23. Small: small children.
  24. Smallish: the same small children, but now demanding to be carried on your back.
  25. Slight: Size 2 jeans.
  26. Stunted: the size of sad trees that actually look like depressed shrubs creeping on the ground.
  27. Petite: the size of little black dresses.
  28. Pint-sized: Hobbit-sized.
  29. Undersized: Supermodels.
  30. Micro: the size of anything in the economy that's not macro.


Question #89237 posted on 03/28/2017 10:50 p.m.

Dear Editors of the 100 Hour Board,

Every time I read Anne, Certainly's answers, I am super impressed by the thoughtfulness, thoroughness, and compassion of her answers. But I've realized that almost none of her answers are editor's choice. Why do you hate her?

-Fan of Anne


Dear you,

My lack of EC answers is "the most tragical thing that has ever happened to me."

Thanks for liking what I write.

~Anne, Certainly

Question #89211 posted on 03/28/2017 10:44 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Hey I want to know what you think about this article


Do you think we give Women too much leeway?



Dear Anti,


-Frère Rubik

Question #89164 posted on 03/27/2017 10:05 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'm gay, so is my brother. We have several cousins who are gay or lesbian or bi (all on one side). Our parents each have a few gay cousins as well. There's reason to believe that there were some closeted gays in our family history, especially on the side that has all the gay cousins.

Other people don't have any gay relatives at all, or very few.

Studies have not yet found a specific gene or genes that explain homosexuality. However, my anecdotal experience suggests that it may run in families. Does it? Also, what are the current theories (accepted by science, the crackpot ones suggested by people threatened by gays seem dubious) about the causes of homosexuality?

-My Name Here


Dear MNH,

Good to hear you have some LGBTQ relatives! Regardless of whether there's a genetic cause for it, that's probably good for support. When my cousin came out as bisexual, I felt a lot less ostracized in the family and able to rely on her as support. Having a brother who knows (at least on some level) what you're going through sounds like a comforting thing.

As for whether it's genetic, anecdotal experience may not be the most reliable factor. It may be that your family just has a lot of LGBTQ relatives, or it could be that for some reason that side of your family is more open to exploring their sexual orientation. That being said, one study has shown that gay males are more likely to have gay male cousins and uncles. This means that in specifically male sexual orientation, some aspects may be genetic. It would need to be studied further and tested with a larger sample size, though, to come to further conclusions.

Some twin studies have attempted to find a link between sexual orientation and genetics. They found that identical and fraternal twins both have an increased rate of sharing a sexual orientation than other siblings, meaning that genetics could play a part but is not the only key. While it may be tempting to want a link between sexual orientation and genetics, this may not be the best thing or even fully correct. Sexual orientation is fluid and can shift in many directions as a person is more open with themselves. Finding a genetic cause for sexual orientation may not even change how people look at sexual orientation, as there would still be those out there viewing it as a medical disorder. 

Some even worry that if there was a pinpointed genetic cause for sexual orientation, mothers would abort unborn babies that showed signs of becoming gay later in life or that doctors would be more likely to develop medical or surgical procedures to "cure" it. It would not necessarily be a good thing, nor would it change how prejudiced people see sexual orientation.

That doesn't mean that sexual orientation is in your control (ie: a choice), though, or that strictly environmental factors cause it. Although researchers are currently unsure what might influence sexual orientation, they do have some theories. It could be that, like many factors that make up a human being, there is no one "cause" but many biological or environmental factors that make a person more likely to develop a certain sexual orientation. Here are a few:

  • Evolutionary factors could also come into play, though these are at best theories. The "gay uncle hypothesis" posits that gay men or women who don't have children may contribute to resources for the offspring of their relatives, increasing the strength of their family genes for future generations. This is, of course, less true in contemporary society as gay couples have many resources if they want to start a family.
  • Prenatal development may be another factor. Hormone exposure in the womb could affect brain development and possibly sexual orientation when exposed to different testosterone levels. Female fetuses exposed to more testosterone during development could be more likely to experience attraction towards other females, and male fetuses exposed to less testosterone may also be more likely to experience attraction towards other males.
  • Females with a gay relative tend to have more offspring than those without gay relatives. This may mean that a similar factor that promotes fertility is linked to sexual orientation. In addition, the way that gay and straight people respond to pheromones of the gender they're attracted to is identical. This means that on a biological level, sexual attraction operates in the same way regardless of orientation.
  • Some studies have found that when it comes to male sexual orientation, a man without older brothers is two percent likely to identify as gay but a man with four older brothers is six percent. This could potentially mean that exposure to certain antibodies in the womb could make a person less likely to be attracted to the same gender, as these antibodies are produced less with every baby. These studies and their result has been called into question, though, so take it at a face value.

Hope this helps! I'm not even going to pretend to know a lot about genetics so take this at a very basic level and do your own research. Again, these are all theories and there is no one known cause of sexual orientation. If any readers have more information about this, feel free to leave a correction.

-Van Goff

Question #89121 posted on 06/15/2017 12:38 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So. I read about something Called the Chinese Soldier Theorem in algebra that made me think the following questions (which I think about every time I do a session at the Salt Lake Temple) might actually be solvable.

Premise 1: In the Salt Lake Temple when you do endowments, you move from room to room, for a total of five rooms before you get to the Celestial Room, counting the chapel where you wait.

Premise 2: As you move from room to room, the order starts at the head of each row until the row is finished and then restarts at the head of the next row.

Premise 3: Even if you were technically seated in one of the front rows in the chapel, the seating format shuffles people up to the extent that, by the time the session is finished, someone who was seated in the front row in the chapel could be seated in the middle or back rows in the Telestial Room.

Premise 4: Seat #1 is the seat on both sides used by the man and woman acting as the witness couple.


1. For each room in the Salt Lake Temple, how many seats are in each row in each room on the female side, starting in the Creation Room?

2. Assuming that there are six rows of women starting in the Creation Room and that no seat is ever empty, how many seats can you sit from seat #1 and still be guaranteed that you will always be sitting in the first row in every room?

2.5 Assuming the same as in #2, how many seats can you sit from seat #1 and still be guaranteed a seat in the second row in every room?

3. Assuming the same as #2, if the temple matrons leave an empty seat on the aisle seat of three of the six rows starting in the Garden room, how many seats can you sit from seat #1 and still be guaranteed a seat in the second row of every room?

4. Assuming that there were six rows of women to start with in the Creation Room and that the temple matrons created three empty aisle seats starting in the Garden Room and continuing into the other two rooms, and assuming that no row in the Terrestrial Room was seated with more people than the second row from the front, how many people would be seated in each row, and would there still be six rows of people (or more or less)? How many seats would you have to sit from seat #1, starting in the Creation Room, to still be seated within the first two rows in the Terrestrial Room?


-Sand Dollar


Dear Reader,

Sorry this took a bit longer than I promised in Board Question #89327. While I was able to go the temple as planned, I got slammed with finals and a subsequent case of burned-out-itis, causing this to be held up longer than I originally thought. But without further ado, let's get around to actually answering you. (Now even more time has passed since I originally penned this paragraph, meriting another opening/apology.)

I come to you midst broken promises of times when I would have this finished. And, quite honestly, personal broken dreams for when I would do this. When I initially saw your question appear in the inbox, I immediately was drawn to it simply because it mentioned the word "theorem". With eerie prescience, I set forth a placeholder that said "I feel an obligation to answer this just cuz the word theorem was mentioned. It will probably go waaaay over hours, though." Little did I know just how true that statement would turn out to be. 

Rather mistakenly, I thought I'd easily be able to figure out the math behind this. But no flash of sudden inspiration ever came, and so this question got moved to the back burner. My grandiose dreams of an absolutely scintillating answer slowly dwindled and died, leaving the bitter taste of ash in my mind as I thought of your patience waiting for the answer that must have seemed like it would never come. And probably you don't even care so much about this answer anymore, just that it is no longer sitting like a three month overdue baby in your My Questions page, with the note at the bottom saying "Waiting for an answer." Well, you have certainly waited, and for how long that wait has been, I am truly sorry.

But no more of my apologetic/pathetic rambling; I humbly proffer you the best answer I was able to cobble together:

To start off, assuming what I found is the same thing you were referencing in your question, the Chinese Remainder Theorem is actually a part of number theory, specifically dealing with modular functions. While it does have some pretty cool applications (like in RSA encryption), it doesn't have as many implications in optimization, which is what you want. So while I thank you for the interesting read on number theory, I'm going to go the optimization route to provide an answer (*Note that this is completely different from dynamic optimization as well--thank goodness, cuz as hard as I'm trying to learn Optimal Control Theory in order to do my job, a large portion of it still goes over my head). Haha, jk, jk, turns out I never really figured this out either. But never fear; your answer still awaits below!

The first step to answering was of course going to the SLC Temple to gather data. Auto Surf and Kirito were nice enough to accompany me, and it was with Auto's help that I counted the rows and columns. Quick disclaimer here: I had no writing utensils on me, and so I just memorized the numbers for rows and columns for each room, and then sent myself an email with those numbers afterwards. However, not anticipating the drag between going to the temple and writing up my response, that email solely consisted of "794, 8910, 912, 9105". So, while I am fairly certain I remember whether each of those numbers represented rows or columns, there might be some error stemming from that. Also note that I'm attempting to solve this with the calculator on my phone whilst holed up in the library (so probably take my findings with a grain of salt). (True to the form of my life, though I wrote that previous sentence over a month ago, it still perfectly describes my exact situation in presently attempting to solve this.)

1. For each room in the Salt Lake Temple, how many seats are in each row in each room on the female side, starting in the Creation Room?

Creation Room: Okay, this room has a pretty crazy arrangement of seats, which reminded me of a seashell overall. There are five rows at the front of the room, positioned in a sort of curvy diagonal, with 7 seats in the first row, 9 seats for rows 2-4, and 4 seats in the back row. Then there's a more block like group of seats at the back of the room, which is 7 rows, 9 columns (or... that might be flipped). Totaling these two sections together yields 101 seats for the female side.

Garden Room: I have to admit that I took a breath of relief when I saw I wouldn't have to memorize as strange an assortment of seats here. The arrangement pretty much sticks to a rectangle, just with less seats in the first row than the others. There are 9 rows overall, with 8 seats in the first, and 10 seats in all the others. So the seat total comes to 88 (honestly, this number makes me just a bit dubious because it's so far off from the totals for the other rooms, but oh well).

In Between Room (thusly dubbed because apart from the seats, all I remember about it is that it came in between the Garden Room and the Terrestrial Room): This was the nicest room to count seats in. Everything was a perfect rectangle! (I never knew just how much I value rectangles until having to count and remember random numbers for a few hours.) Anyways, here there are 12 rows with 9 columns, coming to a nice total of 108 seats. (Edit: after re-reading your question, I realized this must be the Telestial Room. But hey, the name still works, right? After all, we live in a Telestial world, and our time here is our in between state of not being mortal... )

Terrestrial Room: And we're back to different numbers of seats per row. At the back of the room, there was a cluster of rows with less seats than normal, but unfortunately, as I was--slowly, cause apparently counting and moving is above my multi-tasking skills--walking up, I didn't get the chance to count just how many of those rows or seats per row there were. Excluding that bunch at the back, in the foremost row, there were 5 seats, and then 9 seats per row for the following 9 rows. Adding those up gives 86 seats total (considering this is pretty similar to the Garden Room, I'm thinking there might have been a comparable section of seats I missed in there as well.

Overall, it seems as though there were about 100 seats per room on the female side leading up to the Celestial Room.

2. Assuming that there are six rows of women starting in the Creation Room and that no seat is ever empty, how many seats can you sit from seat #1 and still be guaranteed that you will always be sitting in the first row in every room?

And this is where the fun math part kicks in. As previously mentioned, I didn't ever get struck over the head by some beneficent math fairy of optimization, so instead of using half-baked formulas, I'm going to go painstakingly old school with the aid of the following charts of the layouts of each room I drew up in a notebook:



With the use of these handy-dandy diagrams, finding your answer now becomes a matter of testing out all the different seats to see which allows you to always be in the first row. Thanks to the Terrestrial Room, we automatically know it can't be more than 5. Now, in one of your premises, you state that the order follows the heads of each row. However, because the witness woman (I don't really know what else to call the woman who's part of the witness couple... ), always has to sit in the leftmost seat, I'm going to say the "head" of the row becomes the person sitting directly on the right of the witness woman. 

Numbering all the seats in my pictures (numbering left to right according to seating in the Garden Room) reveals that people 1-4 are always guaranteed a spot in row 1. It also reveals that person 18 will be sitting in the front row in the Terrestrial Room, while poor person 19 is stuck in the middle of the 5th row (who would have thought). 

3. Assuming the same as in #2, how many seats can you sit from seat #1 and still be guaranteed a seat in the second row in every room?

Since you haven't added conditions on the aisle seats being empty yet, I can use the same numbering as for #2. A quick look tells me that lucky #13 is the highest secured second row seat (which is the 4th seat from the right on the second row in the Creation Room).

4. Assuming the same as #2, if the temple matrons leave an empty seat on the aisle seat of three of the six rows starting in the Garden room, how many seats can you sit from seat #1 and still be guaranteed a seat in the second row of every room?

Again, the witness woman requires a little specification with your premises, so I'm going to leave an empty aisle seat starting on the 2nd row. This time 12 is the highest seat number to stay in the 2nd row. As a bonus, it's still 1-4 that are always in row 1, though this time 17 is the random higher seat in the front in the Terrestrial Room.

5. Assuming that there were six rows of women to start with in the Creation Room and that the temple matrons created three empty aisle seats starting in the Garden Room and continuing into the other two rooms, and assuming that no row in the Terrestrial Room was seated with more people than the second row from the front, how many people would be seated in each row, and would there still be six rows of people (or more or less)? How many seats would you have to sit from seat #1, starting in the Creation Room, to still be seated within the first two rows in the Terrestrial Room? 

Okay, This question needs the most accuracy disclaimers attached to it, because I'm not even totally certain that I'm interpreting it exactly correctly (so all y'all know what I'm doing, I'm just leaving three seats empty per row starting in the 2nd row in the Garden Room). Nevertheless, I shall endeavor to do my best.

To make sure I was doing this right, I copied my charts in order to re-number everything. Thanks to my tiny handwriting, pictures I took of my work with my phone are nigh illegible, and I don't particularly want to attach 4 pictures of badly drawn squares and lines with minuscule numbers hovering over the top. If anyone would like to see where all the people end up, shoot me an email, and I'll be more than happy to give you a copy of my results. 

The final results turned up 8 rows in the Terrestrial Room. This time the seat which started out in the second row in the Creation room and ended up on the front row in the Terrestrial Room was 15. However, 11-14 were all in the third row of the Terrestrial Room. The highest seat number where all the seats below it are also guaranteed being within the first two rows was 10.  Somehow 23 got pushed back from the third row in the Creation Room to the 6th row in the Terrestrial Room. 47 actually made some decent progress, moving up in the world an entire row. And the very last person to go through the veil would be 37.

So, there you have it. Hopefully it was worth at least part of the wait.

In closing, I'd just like to leave with a scripture which I have found the seating in the Salt Lake Temple to cast considerable light upon:

"...there are they who were first, who shall be last; and there are they who were last, who shall be first."


Question #89104 posted on 07/11/2017 12:08 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I realize now that I did not communicate my question in Board Question #89059 more clearly. When I wrote this question, I was thinking of the "what if" hypothetical comics that XKCD does on the side that explore people's random science and psychology questions. By "how long would it take for a house to be broken into" I was thinking in terms of a matter of days/weeks/months, etc. as a reflection of Provo's various crime rates in different city sectors (as opposed to, how long would it take to complete a burglary).

But as I did not communicate this originally, and the resulting lack of information resulted in a misinterpretation of what the question was even about, would it be possible to get a "re-answer" on this, insofar as any writers have the non-urgent time or interest to answer it?

I completely understand if no writers want to continue with this particular question. I will, however, continue to send you hypotheticals as I think of more, since that is one of the best uses of your collective answering skills.

A reader

P.S. The "burgle" joke is actually from Over the Garden Wall, which I knew some writers have seen, and was hoping that one of them would pick up on that reference by being the one to answer that question. I can see how some humor can get lost in translation on Internet writings particularly after the Board has had some trolling questions sent to it.


Dear you,

Well, I'm nowhere near as legit as Randall, but here's some slightly (read:very) questionable estimation on the matter:

First: How likely are you to get robbed in these areas in the base case?

The easiest one to figure out is on-campus housing, since they actually publish a report every year that includes how many burglaries they get in on-campus housing. Here's a table.

Location Year Number of Burglaries Population? Rate Per 100K
On Campus 2016 Clery Report Data 0 (literally there were none) 6396, per 2016 Clery Report  0
On Campus 2015 Clery Report Data 2 5670, per 2015 Clery Report 35.3  

It gets a little more complicated to get rates for the second and third areas you were interested (both off campus) since I'm too cheap to pay for actual neighborhood-by-neighborhood crime data. Here's a guesstimate at it from me:

Here's a map. I found it using this site, which was helpfully linked to by our very own campus paper, the DU. It covers the last 6 months from when I did it (and I'm not going to try to go further back because this is the biggest range it would let me do at once and also because Randall gets to sell books and I don't and I just don't care as much as he does). 

The stars are burglaries reported during the time frame. The ones with red Xs are the ones that were non-residential burglaries. (The one on the dot that says 2 only applies to one of the two burglaries in that dot; the other one was residential).

map provo burglary.png

 The problem we run into at this point is that I don't have comparative population density. So, I'm going to adjust the area parameters you gave (east/west of Freedom) so that we can compare these two neighborhoods, since I can get rough data for them from this site. North Park, on the west, is mostly West of University (rather than Freedom) while Joaquin covers much of the "south campus" area. 


 So here's the revised map we're looking at for burglaries in the last 6 months:

 map provo burglary J and NP.png

*Note on this: I think it's kind of weird, but the neighborhood map actually cuts off right before university avenue. (Like half a block). This results in the one burglary that's right on the "edge." I'm going to count that in Joaquin, since it seems like University is a sensible barrier.

According to that, for the last 6 months, we get the following rates:

North Park: 3 burglaries/5290 people (*100k people*2 since this data is only for half a year) = 113.4 burglaries per 100k people (*2 for another 6 months of the year (yeah, I know there are seasonal differences in crime, but I don't really care)

Joaquin: 8 burglaries/13903 people (*100k*2) =115.1 burglaries per 100k people per year.

This is actually somewhat encouraging to me, because it seems to indicate that my numbers aren't necessarily insane (at least with regards to each other.) Furthermore, I have no idea what my margin of error here is (other than LARGE), but I'm pretty confident we're well inside of it at those numbers.

So, after all of this unnecessary work to figure out that there aren't really much differences in the rates, we get the following Tiny Table. I'm going to average the last two years of on-campus housing because otherwise it's dumb since I have to figure out how long it takes to never get robbed, and it seems unlikely that the 0 burglaries this year are really a permanent change.

Neighborhood/Area Estimated Burglary Rate Per 100k People
On-Campus 17.6
Joaquin (Student Area) 115.1
North Park (Non-Student Area) 113.4

So, having established base level burglary rate estimates, how long before you get burgled?

Well, here's another question I don't have a real answer for: How much does leaving your apartment unlocked increase your chances of burglary? I don't know. Furthermore, how much does the increase differ depending on where you are? For example, are there more people who just walk door-to-door checking for unlocked locations on Sundays in the Joaquin area (student housing where most people will likely attend Church at the same time?) If all the doors are locked, will those burglars just say "Oh, well," and not burgle anyone? I don't know.

So, because I'm not as cool as Randall, I'm just going to ignore the complications raised by the feature of 'leaving the door unlocked.'

...Especially because the above line is where I lost motivation to work on this question for like a month or so. So, if you want more hypothesizing on that factor, ask a follow-up question.

~Anne, Certainly

Question #89095 posted on 03/13/2017 9:12 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How much do you think the vampires from Stephenie Meyer's world weigh? From what we know, they are:
*Hard as marble
*Sparkly like diamonds
*Bullet proof
*Incredibly strong
*Loud as crashing boulders when they slam into each other
*Silent and graceful when they move
*Don't leave footprints (at least on the forest floor in book 2).
The only clues I can find for weight is that Renesmee (who is half vampire) is said to be "sturdy" when Charlie holds her and Edward doesn't break Bella's old rocking chair when sitting on it. Thoughts or ideas?

-Curious fan


Dear person,

You could be silent and graceful when you move even if you were really heavy - it would just require stronger stabilizing muscles to combat the inertia of any movement. The fact that they don't leave footprints I think is probably just because vampires are so beautiful that the dirt feels unworthy to touch them so they actually don't come into contact with it. We don't need to do a meta-analysis of this data to conclude from all of the barely-contradicting points you bring up that vampires are very heavy.

Vampires are all different, of course, and we have a limited sample. I think this means our best option for answering your question meaningfully is to do a case study. The best vampire is Edward Cullen and we know the most about him so we will use him as our subject. We know he is 6'2'' and that he is fairly lean (we know he has a "sculpted, incandescent chest"). For the sake of our study, we will estimate that he has a body fat(-like substance) percentage of about 10%. 

From this information, we can estimate his body volume. We don't have an Edward to put in a bod pod, but we do have a sample bod pod output for a man who is conveniently about 6'2'' whose total volume is 90 litres. This man has a body fat percentage of about 15%, so we will want to subtract one third of his body fat, or about 11 pounds worth to match Edward's lean physique. Because body fat is about 2.2 pounds per litre, that would make his total volume 85 litres. We will also want to subtract the thoracic volume because it's air and not body tissue, about 4.5 litres. So our estimate is that Edward's body volume is 80.5 litres.

Clearly, vampires are made out of different substances than humans. We know that Edward's skin is literally scintillating, so it probably is made out of literal diamonds. The integument is about 15% of the total body weight and contains both lean and fatty tissue, so let's assume it also comprises about 15% of total body volume. In the case of Edward, 15% of his body tissue volume is about 12 litres. The density of diamonds is about 3.51g/mL.

3.51g/mL*12,000mL=42,120 grams, or 42.12 kilograms, or 92.9 pounds. 

Next, we can probably assume that because Edward is literally ice cold to the touch, his blood is made out of molten gold. Stephenie Meyer's vampires are paradoxical like that. Also, this probably explains the etymology of the phrase "heart of gold". The average man has about 5 litres of blood, and the density of molten gold is about 17.31g/mL.

17.31g/mL*5,000mL=86,550 grams, or 86.550 kilograms, or 190.1 pounds.

We will assume that the rest of him is made out of marble. The density of marble is about 2.7g/mL, and we have 63.5 litres left of non-skin, non-circulatory substance.

2.7g/mL*63,500mL=171,450 grams, or 171.450 kilograms, or 378 pounds.

If we tally all of those weights up, we get a total of 661 pounds. That's right folks, Edward Cullen weighs a grand total of 661 pounds. That would put his BMI at 84.9. 

Conclusion: Edward has super obesity.


Question #89072 posted on 03/30/2017 12:38 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

The water bottle filler in the Benson is the BEST that I've been able to find on campus so far. It shoots the water out really fast, allowing for the shortest, most efficient bottle filling stop. Are there any other bottle fillers that match the velocity of the one in the Benson? So far, all others I've tried seem so slow in comparison. Help a girl out, would ya?

-Dihydrogen Monoxide Addict


Dear You,

Ok, so first and foremost I want to apologize for taking so long to answer this question. First it took way longer to do the research side of it than I expected, then when I finally finished that I suddenly was hit with a long wave of homework and tests and such that I had to deal with which cut into my answering time significantly. But here I am now with the answer you have so patiently awaited.

So I decided to test (almost) all the water bottle fillers on campus to see how long it took them to fill my water bottle. But because that seemed like it would be too easy, I also decided I would rate each water bottle filler by how the water from it tastes in comparison to the tap water in my apartment. So, before starting I familiarized myself with the taste of my tap water to have a solid taste baseline, and I checked how much my water bottle can hold, finding out it hold a total of 24 fluid ounces or 3 cups. 


Here is a pic of my water bottle so you can have an idea (Yeah I know it's blurry. You'll just have to deal with it).

Once I had gathered this preliminary information I set off with Baby Z from our house (Zed was at work) and got started.


Me and Baby Z ready to start our adventure.

I started at the LSB, arriving there at about 2:00pm. I explored all 5 floors to make sure I didn't miss any hidden water bottle fillers, testing each one I came across to see how long it took to fill my water bottle. Baby Z fell asleep after about 10 minutes.


Tuckered out.

I proceeded to work my way through most of the buildings on campus leaving out the Law Building, the Tanner Building, the Hinkley Center, the Marriott, the Bean Museum, and a few others that didn't seem worth it to visit. The whole process took me far longer than I expected it to. 7 hours and 45 minutes to be precise, spread over three days. Over the course of this data collection, I also had to take 12 bathroom breaks, so yeah, I risked hyper-hydration poisoning for you. You're welcome. Just kidding, it honestly wasn't that bad, though I was pretty sick of tasting water by the end of it all.

Anyway, as for the data collection, I divided it by building, timing how long each individual filler took to fill my water bottle and then figuring out the flow rate in fl.oz./sec and taking an average for each building that had more than one water bottle filler. I also made a note of what type of water bottle filler each one was. I counted 4 different types of water bottle fillers which I labelled thusly:


"Normal" Filler, by far the most common on campus


"Different" Filler, there was only one of these and it's just colored differently from the normal ones


"Old Model" Filler, there are a few of these around and they generally tend to be slower but they make a lot of noise which makes it feel like it shouldn't be taking so long to fill your water bottle. Some older models also require you to push a button to dispense the water instead of having a sensor.


"Wilk Model" Filler, these only exist in the Wilk. Generally a bit slower.


I collected all this data, along with my personal taste rating for each fountain in an excel spreadsheet for you which I have included below. I listed the buildings in the order in which I visited them, the location of each filler within the building, the time it took to fill my water bottle in seconds, the flow rate in fl.oz./sec based on my water bottle holding 24 fl.oz. of water, and a taste rating of "Positive" - meaning better than my tap water - "Neutral" - meaning about the same as my tap water - and "Negative" - meaning worse than my tap water. Do note, that the taste rating are entirely subjective as you may have different opinions on how water tastes than I do, but I figure it can at least give you a decent idea of where the better tasting water is to be found.

Water Bottle Filler Info.xlsx

Okay, now that that's all out of the way, I will share with you some of the thoughts I had as I was wandering about campus filling and emptying and refilling my water bottle. I will organize them by the building in which the thought occurred.


LSB: "Okay, there are a ton of water fountains in this building but only one water bottle filler on each floor. What gives?"

Benson: "There is only one water bottle filler in the whole Benson/Nichols building but it definitely looks like it is indeed the fastest. It also tastes pretty great."

MARB: "There are way more water bottle fillers in this building than I ever realized."

Clyde: "I haven't been in this building since switching majors. I'm totally cool with that."

Kennedy Center: "Who even goes here??"

Eyring Center: "Okay this building is way more maze-like than I originally thought. Wait, there's a BASEMENT?!? Oh false alarm, just stairs leading down to a couple offices or classrooms or something."

SWKT: "Oh gosh... Okay, can't access the 12th floor so that's one less floor to check at least. Okay, really? Not a single water bottle filler on any of 11 floors?? Ridiculous."

McKay Building: "Okay, just don't even bother filling your water bottle here unless you have to. It's all to slow and tastes just mediocre."

Testing Center: "It's fitting that the Testing Center water bottle filler would taste this awful. Don't fill up here, it's not worth it."

Brimhall Building: "These aren't awful but the taste isn't my favorite. Pretty average as a building for filling your water bottle."

JFSB: "Just don't even use the filler that's outside the southeast corner of the building. It takes too long and it tastes awful. Not worth the trouble."

Fletcher Building: "Okay, so I could only access a small part of this building but considering how old it is, I'm fairly confident there's no water bottle fillers hidden in the parts I couldn't get to."

HFAC: "The best water in this building is from the fountain in the south foyer of the Madsen Recital Hall. Not a water bottle filler, but the taste totally makes it worth it to deal with filling your water bottle in a regular drinking fountain."

ASB: "Okay for real? Why does this building have so many water bottle fillers? And yet only 1 on the floor that sees the most traffic? So dumb."

Talmage: "THIS FREAKING BUILDING!!! I thought CS and Math majors were supposed to be logical! Why the actual heck is their building so convoluted?! Seriously, it's the architectural equivalent of spaghetti code."

Library: "The library is entirely too large for this... Also the second floor is ridiculous. How do people navigate down here?"

Smith Field House: "Whoa! There's an underground tunnel connecting the RB and the Smith Field House?! Okay, I did not realize the Smith Field House was this large. But really, only one water bottle filler? That seems silly for an athletic building."


So yeah, those were generally my musings as I went about collecting the data for this answer. The last thing I want to do here is just give a couple general notes. So first off, the fastest three water bottle fillers on campus are as follows:

1st: Benson at 4.28 seconds to fill my water bottle and a flow rate of 5.61 fl.oz/sec

2nd: Kennedy Center at 5.16 seconds to fill my water bottle and a flow rate of 4.65 fl.oz/sec

3rd: Library 4th floor by South Elevators, at 6.87 seconds to fill my water bottle and a flow rate of 3.49 fl.oz/sec

Third place was the most surprising to me since that particular water bottle filler is an older model and those tend to be slower than the normal models. The only problem with that one is that it shoots the water out so freaking fast that you'll probably get water all over the place and if you manage to successfully fill your water bottle to it's fullest that will be quite impressive (it took me like three tries to do it successfully).

The slowest filler on campus was the one in the main west hallway of the RB taking a full 32.4 seconds to fill my water bottle for a flow rate of 0.74 fl.oz./sec. That was very surprising to me since you'd think the athletic buildings would have better water bottle fillers than that. The filler I would rate the worst however is definitely the one outside the southeast corner of the JFSB. Yeah it's not the absolute slowest, but it's still one of the slowest ones on campus and it tasted the worst of all the ones I checked by far. So yeah, just don't even waste your time with that one.

Once again, I apologize for taking so long to get this answer out to you, but I hope my thoroughness in answering it makes up for my tardiness.

Best wishes in all your water bottle filling (and other) endeavors,

~Dr. Occam

posted on 03/31/2017 2:52 p.m.
I would just like to point out that, I believe just as of this week, there is a water bottle filler in the Fletcher Building on the main floor by the bathrooms. I tested it myself and it filled my 32 fl.oz bottle in 10.2 seconds (3.14 fl.oz/sec), putting it in 4th place. However, as I am a different person with a different bottle with a different timer, there is likely some experimental error here and I am unsure in which direction it would skew the data.

-Too Familiar with the FB
Question #88974 posted on 04/20/2017 12:03 a.m.

Dear Frère Rubik,

I was thinking about Board Question #85880 at 1:17 am on a Friday morning for some reason, the question from like a year ago about the heat escaping the house on Pluto. I know, I know, everyone else was too. Anyways, I thought of something that might impact the answer but don't know enough about physics to make a correction. Or even really know enough to know if this changes anything at all.

I have heard that air has a lot to do with how fast heat is transferred on earth because air is a fluid that allows heat to transfer by convection. I have read that in space, heat can only be lost via infrared radiation. (For example, apparently you could definitely stay conscious for like 10 seconds in space without a space suit!) according to this How much is Pluto like regular space? Assuming the walls of this "house" are infinitely strong and the atmosphere on the inside is the same density as Earth and the density of the atmosphere outside is the same density as Pluto, would that R value still make sense? Maybe this was some of the stuff you were talking about at the end of your original question that is a bit outside my understanding. If so, I apologize, and feel free to humiliate me (anonymously) in public.

If you have better things to do than answer this question that has clearly been on everybody's mind, I will be very angry and sad but I will understand even if I resent you forever.


PS - Thanks for the trapdoor with a portal to Earth, that sounds like a totally groovy addition to a house that already has an amazingly vaulted ceiling


Dearest Sheebs,

You're absolutely right! The atmosphere on Pluto is 100,000 times less dense than the atmosphere on Earth, and that makes a huge difference in heat transfer. There are three ways that energy can be exchanged between media: Conduction, Convection, and Radiation. Conduction happens when different substances are touching each other; convection happens when they're separated by a fluid (or when a substance is in contact with a fluid or when two fluids are in contact with each other), and radiation just kind of happens spontaneously: everything that's above absolute zero emits radiation. That's right, Sheebs: you're radioactive! I'm radioactive! Every member of Imagine Dragons is radioactive when they sing "Radioactive!" 

Now, in a vacuum, there is no fluid, so convection can't take place. If two objects in a vacuum are touching each other, they can still transfer energy via conduction (and, if they're both made out of the same stuff, like two iron bars, they'll stick together and become one object via a process called "cold welding," but that's another story), but if they're separated then the only way they can share energy is by radiating at each other. This is the idea behind those super-cool (ha!) insulated water bottles that I love. They don't have a perfect vacuum inside of them, but they do have a very, very low-pressure zone in between the inner surface and outer surface, which reduces how much heat can be gained/lost through convection, allowing the stuff inside to stay colder/hotter for longer.

Now that that's established, the next question we have to ask ourselves is this: how close is Pluto's atmosphere to a vacuum? Turns out, pretty close: Pluto's Wikipedia page lists the surface pressure of its atmosphere as 1 Pascal. For comparison, standard atmospheric pressure on earth is 101,325 Pascals. So the atmosphere on Pluto is 1/100,000th as dense as Earth's. A vacuum exists at 0 Pascals, so I'd say we're fairly justified in saying Pluto's atmosphere is like a vacuum.

Our house on Pluto can still lose heat to the ground via conduction, but I've chosen to ignore that for this particular model. We're interested in what the heat loss due to radiation looks like, and if we threw conduction in there it would quickly dominate the process and we wouldn't learn anything.

With all that in mind, I proposed this situation as a subject for a final problem in one of my computational physics classes, and it was approved! I then spent the next four weeks writing a MATLAB script that would make a model of our little Plutonian house and measure how it lost heat. In this model, our "house" is actually a 2D square; 3D was a bit too ambitious for the amount of time I had to work with (so it's more like a cross-section of our house, but it's still a pretty good approximation). The "house" is 5 meters x 5 meters, and it has walls that are 0.25 meters thick. The inside of the house is filled with normal earth air. My program divides the house into a 100 x 100 grid (with each grid square being 5 centimeters x 5 centimeters big) and records the temperature for each square as it goes.

To add some depth and breadth to my data, I wrote a feature in the program that let you choose what kind of material you wanted the walls of the house to be made of. Here are the options I went with:

1) Aluminum
2) Copper
3) Manganese
4) Diamond
5) Brick

I picked Aluminum and Copper because they seemed like pretty standard, average metals. I picked Manganese because it has the lowest thermal conductivity of any pure metal (thermal conductivity and volumetric heat capacity are used to determine a property called diffusivity, which is similar to the R-value we used in the previous answer). I picked Diamond because diamonds are a Sheebs' best friend (and also because diamond has a crazy high thermal conductivity). Finally, I chose brick because I wanted to have one substance that could stand in for an average house wall, and I was having a hard time finding numbers for the thermal conductivity of regular house walls.

Finally, so we could have a metric to measure all the values against, I decided to time how long it would take for the temperature in the room to fall from 300 Kelvin (about 80°F) to 280 Kelvin (about 45°F). I did this for three different spots in the room that seemed to change at different rates based on some early trial runs: the middle of the room, against one of the walls, and right in the corner where two walls meet. For the purposes of this answer, we'll focus mostly on the numbers from the middle of the room.

Alright, now that all the setup's out of the way, let's get into the fun stuff: the results. Before we do, though, take a second to look at the options and think about which one you think will work best and why.

All done? Then let's go!

Here are the times that it took for each of the houses to cool from 300K to 280K, arranged from quickest to longest:

1) Aluminum: 24.15 hours
2) Brick: 24.47 hours
3) Copper: 28.48 hours
4) Manganese: 29.64 hours 
5) Diamond: 33.11 hours

Right off the bat, we can see that the times here are waaaaay longer than I originally estimated a year ago; back then I was talking about minutes, whereas here we find that all of the materials tested take at least a day to cool down to the desired temperature. Pretty crazy, no? 

Now, the moment of truth: did your earlier pick end up being the longest-lasting material? If you're me, then definitely not. Usually, when something has a high diffusivity, we think that it will transfer heat really quickly, and this is definitely true for conduction. By that logic, the diamond house should have lost its heat the quickest, and brick the slowest, since they have the highest and lowest diffusivities, respectively. However, that's not what we see here: the diamond house lasted the longest of the five, and the brick house was almost the fastest in dumping its heat.

Another oddity: Whether or not the higher-diffusivity materials were faster or slower, I would have expected the results to line up according to the diffusivities of the materials. The order I expected would have looked something like 1) Brick 2) Manganese 3) Aluminum 4) Copper 5) Diamond or the reverse, since that's the order their diffusivities go in. However, as we see, it doesn't really follow that order at all; it goes 3-1-4-2-5. For the earlier regularity, I chalked it up to learning something new about space (that apparently high-diffusivity materials are really good insulators when all you have to worry about is radiating heat away). For this one, though, I have no idea what to think. Part of me wants to say "Well, maybe there's some other property of these materials that's making them act differently than you expect," but the problem with that argument is that the program only knows what I told it about these materials; it doesn't know that diamond is clear or brick is rough or that manganese can act as a neurotoxin if present in large amounts in the human body (though it does know all of their nicknames, which are secret).

The final surprising thing I found was this: After a certain amount of time, the rate of heat loss in the system goes down. The house never stops losing heat, but as time goes on, it loses less and less. Allow me to illustrate with some graphical representations (or, in layman's terms, look at these graphs):



(Sorry they're not labeled)

Both graphs are looking at the rate of heat loss as a function of time for the aluminum house. The top graph was taken from looking at a point in the middle of the room, and the bottom graph was taken from one of the corners. In the top graph, the rate of heat loss gets bigger and bigger (negative numbers on the graph = higher rate of loss), but toward the end the rate at which it increases starts to slow. In the bottom, we see it very quickly hit a maximum value, and then it gradually starts getting slower and slower. This is another phenomenon that I have no explanation for, but it's consistent across all the materials. 

As before, I'm not 100% confident in these models and findings. I'm a great deal more certain than I was before, especially since my professor helped me create this simulation, but there's still enough oddness going on in there that I can't say there's definitely nothing that I missed.

Finally, to wrap things up, here's a graph of the temperature distribution from the diamond graph once the middle has hit 280K. The x and y dimensions represent the dimensions of the house, whereas the z direction represents temperature: higher points imply higher temperature, as indicated by the scale on the right:


From the graph we can see that the temperature in the walls falls much more quickly than the temperature of the air inside, which is basically how insulation works. Pretty cool, eh? I also have a version of the program that makes an animation of the temperature falling. It's really cool to watch, but really tricky to export. If there are any MATLAB-savvy readers out there, they can download my script here (saved as a text file because I didn't know how nicely the Board system would play with a .m file).

That's all for now! Thanks for the question! It made for a really fun project.

-Frère Rubik

Question #88850 posted on 01/28/2017 10 a.m.

Dear April Ludgate,

Congratulations on reaching 500 answers! What better way to celebrate this achievement than retirement?

-April Ludgate


Dear myself,

For this final, 500th answer, I put off my (and my namesake’s) standoffish nature and get sentimentally sappy.

I started writing for the Board nearly 1 year ago, and in that time, I learned more than I ever thought I possibly could.  I originally joined the Board to prove to myself that I could write as well as my older brothers (let’s be honest, it still has yet to be proven). Nonetheless, I enjoyed my time on the Board and the joy it’s brought me.  But as the song says, it’s time for me to go my own way.

I have two regrets as I leave:

  • I regret that I didn’t join the Board earlier.  I applied for the Board in my senior year, when I was already married and spending almost all of my time off-campus.  Now I don't even live in Utah.  So I feel that I missed out on many opportunities in that sense.

  • I regret that I didn’t try to create better relationships with the other writers.  Never spending time on campus hindered my time with the other writers, but my own personality also got in the way.  I wish I could say I am leaving the Board having made lifelong friends, but through my own faults, I don’t know how true that is, and I’m incredibly saddened by that.

I’m still incredibly grateful that I was able to write alongside these talented people and make the friendships that I did.  They made me want to be a better person and develop personal characteristics to embody them.  I hope that someday I can be as kind as Van Goff, as clever as Ardilla, as comedically gifted as Frère, as courageous as Luciana, as empathetic as Sheebs, as well-written as Dr. Occam, as straightforward as Zedability, as friendly as Anathema, and as amazing as every other writer has been in their own unique way, even if I didn’t get to know them very well.

Most of all, I hope that I was able to brighten someone’s day.  To help somebody find something they truly needed.  To provide comfort, humor, interest, honesty, or just someone to talk to when someone most needed it.

So goodbye forever,



-April Ludgate