If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten lava, forget em', cause, man, they're gone. –Jack Handey
Question #80216 posted on 12/10/2014 5:08 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So, I was lying in bed, half-asleep, half-awake, when an interesting scene played out in my mind. I imagined two men about to participate in an old-fashioned duel (where they walk a certain amount of paces and then turn and fire at each other), and they were arguing about who was more accurate at long distances. Finally, one of them said: "Fine then! Why don't we go one million paces, and then we'll see who's a better shot!" They then started marking off the paces.

The daydream didn't last long enough for me to see the end result of the duel, but it got me wondering: If the two men started in, say, the middle of Kansas, and each walked one million paces in a straight line (one going east, one going west), where would they end up? And is there any weapon short of some ballistic missile that they could hit each other with?

-Cowboy Reggae

A:

Dear Bebop,

I spent this entire semester doing computational problems almost exactly like this so I'm only slightly disappointed I didn't get to show my computations for this answer. A pace is about 30 inches so one million paces is 762 km. I don't even have to make any estimations this time! WolframAlpha provides us with the geographic center of Kansas. At that latitude, for every one km west or east the longitude changes by about 0.0115 degrees. (OK, I'm estimating again but at least I'm not doing any order-of-magnitude estimations, right?) In other words, a million paces at that latitude is about 8.757 degrees of longitude. One of these guys will end up southeast of St. Louis in Illinois and the other will find himself near some national forests in Colorado.

Coincidentally, this is just about 1,000 miles of separation. No firearm can even come close to this distance. But you know I'd walk a thousand miles... if I could just see you tonight. (You probably thought I was going to go with a The Proclaimers reference, didn't you? Sometimes I like to be a little unpredictable.)

-M.O.D.A.Q.

Question #80112 posted on 12/03/2014 6:14 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

True or false: the relationship between the number of marathons/marathon like things in Utah and the number of unwed and thus sexually frustrated YSAs in the state is statistically significant.

Please define the relationship to the best of your ability.

Extra thumbs for inclusion of lovely charts and/or diagrams.

-I know you saw what I did there

A:

Dear I don't know what you're talking about,

False. 

I wasn't sure from your question whether marathons or singles was supposed to be the independent variable, so I went with the combination that would yield easier-to-read regression numbers. Thus, the hypothesis is that marathons and marathon-like things cause singleness in Utah. Any number of explanations might provide a viable theoretical framework to explain why, including but not limited to:

  • Singles in Utah are too busy running marathons, so they don't have time to date.
  • People at marathons stink because they just ran 26 miles. No one wants to marry a stinky person, so singles who meet at marathons are less likely to get married.
  • Marathons edge out all other forms of recreation. People have to be crazy to want to run 26 miles. Not-crazy people don't want to run in the marathons, but there aren't any other options. So not-crazy people stay at home playing video games, and not-crazy singles never meet each other. All marriages in the state of Utah are between crazy marathon runners.
  • Where there are more marathons, people run so much that their libido drops off the charts and they no longer feel a need to get married because all that passion is channeled into their running. (The opposite of sexual frustration, if you will.)

I decided to approach this question using data from each of Utah's 29 counties. Your definitions were a little loose: do widowed and divorced people count as single? What are "marathon-like things," exactly? For the purposes of this study, I defined single as "never married" and used the US Census website to get that information for each county. I defined marathon-like things as "any running event that pops up on RunningintheUSA.com's search feature for Utah during 2014." That includes 5k and 10k runs, triathlons, walks, relay races, and stair climbs. I also gathered data on some control variables, like county population, proportion of population between the ages of 20 and 24, and the number of married, divorced, widowed, and separated adults. That all came from the census as well. 

I couldn't find numbers on how many of the single adults in the state are members of the Church, which I assume you wanted because you said "YSAs." Nor were there any data on age distribution among singles. Therefore, these data include people who are not members of the Church and who are over the age of 18, not just members between 18 and 31. 

A scatter plot between the number of marathons run and the number of single adults looks like this:

Scatterplot.png

 

Obviously there is a pretty strong relationship, and it appears to be curvilinear. A simple scatter plot, however, cannot control for other variables. So I ran a couple of regressions, and here are the results:

regression.png

As you can see, the relationship is only statistically significant when no other variables are controlled for. When I include the other data, however, statistical significance drops down to about 0.49. Given that the scatter plot indicated that the relationship was curved, not linear, I created a logged singles variable and ran a regression with that as the dependent variable. The relationship still doesn't come up as statistically significant. Which is good, because I've forgotten how to interpret logged coefficients.

As a visual representation of just how insignificant the relationship is, here is a graph of the 95% confidence interval:

 Marginsplot1.png

 Basically, the red line is the predicted relationship between marathons and singles. But we would want to be super-confident that the relationship actually exists, right? I think 95% confident sounds like a good threshold. We can be 95% confident that the slope of the relationship falls somewhere between the green line and the yellow line. Meaning that we can't even be sure whether the relationship is positive or negative. Statistically significant? I don't think so.

Yours, &c.

Heidi Book

P.S. I've compiled the data in an Excel Spreadsheet for your delectation and delight, just in case you want to double check my numbers. Or redo the whole regression, since I've forgotten most of what I learned in statistics.

Question #79917 posted on 11/17/2014 8:26 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

My son LOVES the song "The Wheels on the Bus," which means that I usually end up singing it multiple times a day...every day. But one can only sing the same verses over and over again before getting kinda tired of it. So, I thought that it would be a good idea to make up some new verses for the song. Since you're all intelligent folks, I'm enlisting your help.

What are some good alternative verses to "The Wheels on the Bus?" My only rules are that it has to be appropriate for children (obviously) and fit the melody/rhythm of the song. But other than that, anything goes. I'm fine with space aliens or magical creatures or accountants or whatever (everyone's got to have transportation, right?). Bonus points to you if you can think of a hand motion to go with it.

-Swish, swish, swish

A:

Dear Swish, swish, swish,

The bard on the bus had lots of fun, is bored by none, and now is done.
The bard on the bus hopes you now have fun, all through the town.

Harry Potter versions

The wizards on the bus go, "Swish and flick! Swish and flick! Swish and flick!"
The wizards on the bus go, "Swish and flick!" all through the town.
(Swish and flick.)

The Snapes on the bus go, "Snape, Snape, Severus Snape, Snape, Snape, Severus Snape,"
The Snapes on the bus go, "Severus Snape," all through the town.
(Look around creepily and toss your hair back.)

The Albus on the bus goes, "Dumbledore! Dumbledore! Dumbledore!"
The Albus on the bus goes, "Dumbledore!" all through the town.
(Wave your arms like you're crazy.)

The Weasleys on the bus go, "Ron, Ron, Ron Weasley! Ron, Ron, Ron Weasley!"
The Weasleys on the bus go, "Ron Weasley!" all through the town.
(Have a really excited expression.)

The Grangers on the bus go, "Hermione, Hermione, Hermione Granger! Hermione, Hermione, Hermione Granger!"
The Grangers on the bus go, "Hermione Granger!" all through the town.
(Tilt your head haughtily.)

The Potters on the bus go, "Harry Potter, Harry Potter, yeah! Harry Potter, Harry Potter, yeah!"
The Potters on the bus go, "Harry Potter, Harry Potter, yeah!" all through the town.
(Do a cool dance.)

The Riddles on the bus go "Voldemort, Voldemort, Vol-Volde-Volde-Volde-Voldemort!"
The Riddles on the bus go "Voldemort!" all through the town.
(Rub hands together evilly.)

Animal versions

The penguins on the bus go march, march, march! March, march, march! March, march, march!
The penguins on the bus go march, march, march! all through the town.
(Kind of self-explanatory.)

The lemurs on the bus go hop, hop, hop! Hop, hop, hop! Hop, hop, hop!
The lemurs on the bus go hop, hop, hop! all through the town.
(Also self-explanatory.)

The sheep on the bus go ba-ram-yoo! Ba-ram-yoo! Ba-ram-yoo!
The sheep on the bus go Ba-ram-yoo! all through the town.
(Shake head like a sheep.)

The tunnel worms on the bus go chomp, chomp, chomp! Chomp, chomp, chomp! Chomp, chomp, chomp!
The tunnel worms on the bus go chomp, chomp, chomp! all through the town.
(Pretend to eat a freshman.)

Historical/Political versions

The Teddys on the bus go whack, whack, whack! Whack, whack, whack! Whack, whack, whack!
The Teddys on the bus go whack, whack, whack! all through the town.
(Sing softly but use a big stick.)

The Trumans on the bus go, "The buck stops here! The buck stops here! The buck stops here!"
The Trumans on the bus go, "The buck stops here!" all through the town.
(Point your finger down.)

The Bushes on the bus go, "Read my lips! Read my lips! Read my lips!"
The Bushes on the bus go, "Read my lips!" all through the town.
(Point to your lips.)

The Marxists on the bus go, "Share, share, share! Share, share, share! Share, share, share!"
The Marxists on the bus go, "Share, share, share!" all through the town.
(Grab other people's money.)

The capitalists on the bus go, "Earn, earn, earn! Earn, earn, earn! Earn, earn, earn!"
The capitalists on the bus go, "Earn, earn, earn!" all through the town.
(See action above.)

The Congress on the bus goes, "Filibust! Filibust! Filibust!"
The Congress on the bus goes, "Filibust! all through the town.
(Pretend like you're giving speech.)

Primary song versions

The wise men on the bus go build on rock, build on rock, build on rock.
The wise men on the bus go build on rock all through the town.
(Alternate putting fists on top of each other.)

The fools on the bus go build on sand, build on sand, build on sand.
The fools on the bus go build on sand all through the town.
(See action above.)

The rains on the bus go down, down, down! Down, down, down! Down, down, down!
The rains on the bus go down, down, down! all through the town.
(Make rain with your fingers, going down.)

The floods on the bus go up, up, up! Up, up, up! Up, up, up!
The floods on the bus go up, up, up! all through the town.
(Same as action above, but going up.)

The wise house on the bus stands still, stands still, stands still.
The wise house on the bus stands still all through the town.
(Hold fists still on top of each other.)

The fool's house on the bus washes away, washes away, washes away.
The fool's house on the bus washes away all through the town.
(Start with action above, but have hands "wash away.")

The streams on the bus say, "Give, give, give! Give, give, give! Give, give, give!"
The streams on the bus say, "Give, give, give!" all through the town.
(Simulate giving to others.)

Science versions

The protons on the bus go [action], [action], [action].
The protons on the bus go [action] all through the town.
(action: Make a big smile and give two thumbs up.)

The electrons on the bus go [action], [action], [action].
The electrons on the bus go [action] all through the town.
(action: Make a big frown and give two thumbs down.)

The neutrons on the bus go [action], [action], [action].
The neutrons on the bus go [action] all through the town.
(action: Make a completely neutral expression.)

Pokemon versions

The Pikachus on the bus go Pi-ka-CHU! Pi-ka-CHU! Pi-ka-CHU!
The Pikachus on the bus go  Pi-ka-CHU!, all through the town.
(Clench fists, close your eyes, and generate lightning.)

[Create with the same syntax for any pokemon]

Miscellaneous versions

The signers on the bus ask [action], [action], [action].
The signers on the bus ask [action] all through the town.
(action: Sign "How are you?" in ASL.)

The Kiwis on the bus go Timtam slam! Timtam slam! Timtam slam!
The Kiwis on the bus go Timtam slam! all through the town.
(Pretend to suck hot milo through a timtam.)

The Arnolds on the bus go, "I'll be back, I'll be back, I'll be back"
The Arnolds on the bus go, "I'll be back," all through the town.
(Put on sunglasses at the beginning and look like Arnold.)

-100 Hour Bard

Question #79801 posted on 11/08/2014 11:08 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How should I go about reading things, particularly poems, literarily or deeply? Then I could pride myself in educating myself (perhaps).
Better yet, how can I read them in such a way as to prepare myself to have a knack at writing? I can look for techniques, I suppose, or for tone that justifies or wrecks a piece, but should I do something more meticulous if I want to get a truer attitude of writing for myself as well?

-May words drift....

A:

Dear Hamlet,

I love this question! I think the ability to understand a text on a deeper level - to really plumb the depths of meaning that make up the richness of humanity - is immensely important. Few things are as exciting for me as a well-written poem. (Insert joke about English majors1 here.) However, good literary analysis is a hard skill to pin down. Someone pointed out in one of my classes the other day that a writer can know all of the formal qualities (like rhyme, alliteration, word choice, meter, etc.) and still turn out a really bad poem, which to me says that poetry and its interpretation aren't entirely quantifiable. Nevertheless, that doesn't mean you can't improve your ability to analyze a text. I've been ruminating on this question about ninety-five hours now, and while there's certainly more to it than this, here are some suggestions that have come to mind.

Read it slowly. Whether you're encountering a poem or a novel or a journal article, take the time to understand it thoroughly. Don't be afraid of difficult texts. Going slowly will allow you to isolate the effect of individual words and to capture more of their meaning. Don't feel pressured to rush through it. If you run across a tough phrase or passage, don't just move on and assume it's too hard; reread it two or three or six times if you have to in order to really understand the meaning. Look up words you don't know, and look up words you think you know but sound weird in the context of the poem. Pace yourself. Take it easy.

Pay attention to how it sounds. A huge part of writing is mastering the flow of language, understanding how spoken sounds work together to create rhythms pleasing (or jarring, if that's the point) to the ear. Especially if it's a poem, read it aloud, which will give you a better sense for what it sounds like and how it flows. Notice how the meter of the poem or the phrase puts emphasis on certain words and ask yourself why those words are important. How do the sounds of a poem help to determine its character? One of my favorite examples of this is Wilfred Owen's "Dulce et decorum est." Read the first few lines in your head:

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge
'Til on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And toward our distant rest began to trudge.

Now read it aloud. Do you notice that it makes a difference? When you read it silently you don't feel the sensation produced by all the hard consonants like g, k, d, and b. Reading it aloud makes the poem feel heavier and more grim.

Learn connotations. Lots of words have dictionary definitions that don't entirely describe what they mean. Pay attention to how good writers use certain words in context and learn the difference between, say, bias and prejudice, which mean the same thing if you look them up in the dictionary but are generally used differently in writing. A lot of a piece's subtext is in the connotations of its words - for the alert reader, they recall other issues or themes without having to address them directly. Take, for example, this little poem by Robert Frost. He could have used the word "yearning" instead of "desire" - they mean the same thing, after all - but aside from wanting to preserve the poem's lyrical rhyme, he wanted to infuse the idea of fire with the sensual passion associated with the word desire. Yearning is more about wanting something deeply, whereas desire can be the equivalent of lust.

Think about themes. Once you've finished a piece, ask yourself what the primary themes were. You can even keep a written list so that you can start comparing works that address similar topics - if you notice that you wrote nature of death under both Roethke's "The Far Field" and Houseman's "To an Athlete Dying Young," you can go back and see what they have in common. What are the differences in the way they approach death? What is the tone of each poem? Where do you, yourself, stand in relation to them? Do you agree with either poet? 

Read what others write about literature. Over the summer I read Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel, both of which have won the UK's prestigious Man Booker prize in recent years. They were a lot of fun, and I felt like I learned a lot about good writing, but much of the critical thinking I did about both books started when I read reviews of them from The Guardian, The London Review of Books, and The New Yorker. Not only did the authors of these reviews open my mind to elements of the books that I hadn't noticed myself, but they also provided a starting point for the germination of my own ideas. Now I'm preparing a grad school writing sample about my interpretation of the character Thomas Cromwell and Mantle's masterful reconfiguration of someone who has historically been cast as a villain. As you read what others write, you'll become more and more adept at spotting things before someone tells you about them. 

Learn the rules. As for becoming a good writer, think about painters like Picasso who created works that were beautiful for their unconventionality. I hear a lot of Pablo-haters who look at his works and pronounce that he must have been a poor painter if he couldn't depict a human without cubic forms. If you look at his earlier works, however, you realize that he was actually very good at realistic art; his method of painting was a conscious choice, not an inability to paint well. The same goes for literature. You can break all the rules you want, as long as you're aware you're breaking them. Get yourself a copy of Strunk and White's Elements of Style or a similar style-and-grammar book and familiarize yourself with the rules they list. Obviously, they're teaching you about academic writing, which is different from fiction or poetry, but once you have the principles of academic writing down, it's not as big of a leap to the creative stuff.  

Look for chances to critique others' writing. Ask your roommates if you can edit their papers for them, or look for violations of style and grammar principles as you read textbooks and journal articles. Nothing - nothing - helped me to recognize the flaws in my own writing as much as the chance I had to TA for an advanced writing class, where I was reading fifteen or thirty four-to-five-page papers a week and explaining to the students what changes their writing needed. 

Work to improve your vocabulary. I think this happens best by extensive reading. Circle great words when you encounter them. Some of the more fun ones I've run across in my assigned reading lately have been milquetoast, paucity, inveterate, and mawkish. Knowing lots of words is valuable if you're writing poetry or fiction, but they need to be useful words, too. For example, tergiversate is a word. But no one knows it, and it's not replete with the deep connotations and beautiful layers of meaning that go along with renounce or abandon, which are much more common words that mean basically the same thing. Therefore, tergiversate becomes just a big word that your reader will have to look up and that contributes to clunky writing. On the other hand, the word frippery sounds more or less like what it is, has a fun combination of consonants, and could add a little bit of zing to a poem. Your reader doesn't have to pull out a dictionary, and she walks away wanting to be able to use the word herself. Remember, not all big words are created equal.

Read all the time. Like ALL THE TIME. I know everyone's tired of hearing that practice makes perfect - but let's face it. Nothing is so effective as consistently reading valuable material. Make a goal of reading something new every day and trying to extract meaning from it. Write down your impressions. Figure out what you, yourself, believe about the writer's evocative themes. Follow newspapers and cool magazines like National Geographic or The Economist. Buy a used poetry anthology. Talk to people about what you're learning. (English professors love this - they'll talk your ear off about their favorite poems. Don't be afraid to ask them when you're having trouble interpreting something.) Devour texts. Set aside time to read for fun. Don't be an omnivorous reader; use good judgment when selecting your reading materials. You only have, like, eighty years on this earth, and the seconds are too precious to be wasted on anything that won't improve your understanding, deepen your compassion, or teach you something about yourself. Have fun. Remember that it will come with time.

Good luck in your pursuit of meaning in quality literature. I love this topic, so if you want more, email me at heidibook (at) theboard (dot) byu (dot) edu.

Yours, &c.

Heidi Book

Question #79413 posted on 10/08/2014 3:20 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Somehow I got it into my head that kettle-cooked chips are healthier than normal ones, but now I can't find any evidence. Is this true? And what is the healthiest kind of potato chip?

-Mai Nayum Heir

A:

Dear My Name Here1,

I present to you my most recent excursion into the daunting world of science, which I will shortly be submitting as an Orca Grant proposal:

Introduction

By my observation, recent years have seen a significant increase in the number of consumers who prefer the kettle-cooked potato chip to the original, classic-style potato chip commonly consumed in the 1980s and 1990s. Those who have made the transition indicate several reasons for their newly-acquired tastes: some note the increased crunchiness of the kettle-cooked chip, while others insist that it has a deeper and richer flavor. Some, however, have been converted by the presumed health merits of the new chip. "Somehow I got it into my head that kettle-cooked chips are healthier than normal ones," says Mai Nayum Heir, a consumer who has recently noticed that there exists little scientific evidence to support this assumption. Werf, however, is not alone, as many voices around the country are now raising the same question: "Are kettle-cooked chips really more healthy than other chips?" A study addressing this issue could have weighty implications for Americans' health, as well as for the continued growth of the potato chip industry.

Research Question

Are Kettle-cooked potato chips healthier than normal potato chips?

Hypothesis

Contrary to guess of the gentle reader who put forth the original query, I hypothesize that Kettle-cooked chips are in fact less healthy than normal potato chips.

Theoretical Framework

Kettle chips are thicker than normal potato chips. Thicker things have more volume. Things that have more volume have an increased capacity to retain liquid. Oil is the only liquid present in potato chips. Therefore, Kettle chips have the capacity to retain more oil than normal chips, thus making them less healthy.

Assumptions

Oil is unhealthy.
Potato chips are cooked in oil.
Heidi Book likes potato chips enough to carry out the necessary tests.
Calories are unhealthy.
Fat is unhealthy.
Sodium is unhealthy.
Potassium is healthy.
Carbohydrates are unhealthy.
Protein is healthy.
Vitamins and minerals are healthy.

Limitations

If possible, this test would examine chips from all major producers, comparing the kettle-cooked variety to the originals. Given budgetary constraints, however, I was limited to comparing types of potato chips within a single brand. For the quantitative test, I was forced to make value judgments on the various categories of nutrition - i.e., I had to unilaterally categorize calories, fat, and sodium as unhealthy, when in reality you need those in your system as much as you need anything else. Those are the ones that we tend to need less of than we actually consume. (Sheebs is probably going to blow a cork when she reads this answer, because by automatically categorizing these things as bad or good, I'm encouraging unhealthy ways of thinking about food.) Additionally, the conclusions drawn from my experiment will have a wide margin of error, considering that I could only get two participants to sign up, one of whom was myself.

Experimental test

My roommate and I have adjusted our food intake to consist of a potato-chip-only diet. In a randomized controlled experiment, she will subsist on Lay's original potato chips and I on Lay's kettle-cooked chips. Check back in six months to see which of us is fatter.

Quantitative test

I decided to base my quantitative test on an analysis of the nutrition labels for a single brand of potato chips. Lay's was deemed the most appropriate because of its commercial prominence, as well as Heidi Book's normative preference for Lay's over most other brands.

Original v Kettle_1.png

Here is a brief summary of the findings:

Both types of chip have the same number of calories, which is probably the most socially-accepted measure of healthy, but kettle-cooked chips have 1g less fat, 52% as much sodium, an extra 20mg of potassium, 8 times as much iron, and more phosphorus. Original chips have 1g fewer carbohydrates and more niacin, thiamin, and Vitamin E.

Conclusion

It appears that my hypothesis was wrong and that kettle-cooked chips are indeed healthier than original potato chips. However, the margin of victory is quite small - the only dramatic differences between the two are in sodium and iron. Therefore, Citizen Heir, you probably won't do yourself a huge favor by limiting yourself to kettle-cooked chips for the rest of your life. That said, The Daily Mail seems to have done a fairly logical comparison of chips across the board, which analyzes several brands according to the number of chips you can eat per 150-calorie serving. It concludes that the brand Utz gives you the most bang for your buck, so to speak - the most chips for your calorie. Given the fact that no one's ever heard of Utz before, they're probably not worth it. 

Yours, &c.

Heidi Book

1 I must confess myself indebted to another writer for indicating to me that your 'nym was an alternate orthographic representation of said quotidian signature.

Question #79360 posted on 10/09/2014 1:08 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

While watching the Utah vs Washington State game on Saturday, I realized that both teams' head coaches were BYU alum. There's also Steve Sarkisian who coaches at USC. This got me wondering, which college has the most alumni working as head coaches right now?

-Go Cougs!

A:

Dear Co Gougs,

This was not as easy as I expected it to be. Turns out there wasn't a nice list of current head coaches with their alma maters out there on the Internet. Well, there is now. I only included top division teams, because as it turns out, there are 127 of them! Who knew? My Wikipedia-fu is strong, but this still took a while to compile. I accept pumpkin spice cake donuts as tokens of appreciation, should you feel so inclined.

So, alma maters. The school that produced the most head coaches is Iowa, as it turns out. There are five coaches from there. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to find their names. In second place is Alabama, with four. BYU is tied for third with Texas Tech and West Virginia. Each boasts three current head coaches. Not too shabby a turnout from the Cougars.

In an effort to offer a bit more, I also compiled all of the mascots as well. You may be interested to note that the most prevalent mascots are the Bulldogs, Wildcats, and Tigers, each of which is the totem of four schools. My personal favorite mascot is the Volunteer. Personally, I find that bizarre. It's like they're saying, "no, really, we won't force you to be on our team, promise!"

-Inverse Insomniac

Question #79096 posted on 09/16/2014 noon
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I am so conflicted when it comes to the issue of gay rights and homosexuality in general. I have many gay friends who I love and respect. A few of them are getting married in the near future. I want to be able to congratulate them and be happy for them, but I hold back because of my LDS beliefs. It hurts, I guess. I don't want to betray my beliefs, but I don't want my friends to feel I am not happy for them or that I am judging them. How do I respond in these situations?

On a related note, I feel like I can say all I want that the church does not hate or condemn homosexual people, but in the end, it really doesn't seem there is a place for them in our religion. I understand the reasons, I guess - marriage between a man and a woman is essential to exaltation- and that is just what God has decreed... But it is still so sad to me. I hate having to say, "Well, yes, you can be a member of my church, but you have to either marry someone you're not attracted to, or remain celibate all your life... um, but it will all be worth it in the end!" It makes me want to cry that my friends will never know the joy of the gospel and the love of Christ through really no fault of their own... It doesn't seem fair to me. Am I missing something here? I really want to know. How do I explain these things to my gay and lesbian friends? Thank you so much in advance for your help, I know these are very difficult questions.

-Pippin

A:

Dear you,

I have many gay friends who I love and respect. A few of them are getting married in the near future. I want to be able to... be happy for them, but I hold back because of my LDS beliefs....I don't want my friends to feel I am not happy for them or that I am judging them. How do I respond in these situations?

I wanted to bring up this portion of your question mostly to say that I'm not really going to address it. How to respond to specific individual situations isn't something I feel particularly qualified to instruct you on. I'd urge you to pray for guidance and let the Spirit fill your mouth as you open it; he can do a much better job than I could.

It really doesn't seem there is a place for them in our religion...

I can see how someone would arrive at this conclusion, but to me it indicates an improper view of the Church. The expression that the Church should serve not as a museum for saints but as a hospital for sinners brings us closer to the true point: not because those naturally inclined to homsoexuality are inherently more sinful than the rest of us but because the reason we ALL need our religion is because of our imperfection. There is a place in our religion for anyone who can be better than he is (which is all of us) or for anyone who has successfully completely emulated the Savior (none of us yet). There are blessings of the Gospel that may have to wait: eternal companions, children, etc. However, there are likewise many heterosexual members waiting on the Lord in these situations as well. The Church is not a social club for perfect nuclear families. It is an organization founded on and sustained by a message of truth that applies to every single human being who has (or will) ever lived.

I hate having to say, "Well, yes, you can be a member of my church, but you have to either marry someone you're not attracted to, or remain celibate all your life... um, but it will all be worth it in the end!"

You say that end phrase like it's a consolation. That end phrase is the entire point. Yes, some of us start our eternal families earlier or in different circumstances than others. However, our earth lives are "but a moment" in our eternal destinies. Remaining faithful to the laws of God "all your life," is certainly a sacrifice, but it is one that is asked universally of the Saints. 

Joseph Smith taught that "a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation." This sacrifice will require different things of different people, but it will be required of everyone. There is no church member who can escape the requirement of sacrifice of all things. This means that any of us must be willing to suffer anything according to the will of God, and for this sacrifice we will receive "life and salvation." 

It makes me want to cry that my friends will never know the joy of the gospel and the love of Christ through really no fault of their own...

If this were true, it would certainly be something worthy of sincere sorrow. However, your friends can absolutely know the joy of the Gospel and the love of Christ. These things are held out to all men and women. The good news of Christ's redemption of mankind is freely available to all of God's children. He does not send any of us away. It needs to be made clear here that being susceptible to a particular temptation or being inclined to a particular sin does not somehow except us from God's love. God knows we are all going to be tempted and at times give in to that temptation. This is why he sent Christ to provide an infinite Atonement so that what matters is not the failures in our past but way in which we direct our hearts: toward him and a future of obedience and true repentance and sanctification.

It doesn't seem fair to me.

I think that one of the things that really does make this hard is that humans have a longing for "fairness" but an inadequate perspective to understand what fairness is. God is perfectly just, but He also has a perfect and infinite perspective, while our views are all too often limited to that which we can currently perceive or conceive of. Is it "fair" for me to give one of my children one cookie and another child two cookies and to give a third child only vegetables? Perhaps your initial instinct is that this is not fair. What if I told you that one of my children is two (only needs one cookie) one is ten and just came home from a soccer game (is hungrier) and the third is diabetic (and can't have the sugar right now)? God is aware of what we need: not just right at this moment, but to be perfected eternally. God's goal is not to make my earth life contain the same type or number of trials as someone else's. It is to allow and help me to face those things which I need in order for me to be who He (and I) needs me to be. These trials will differ from Concealocanth's or Tally M.'s or Maven's or yours. However, we can trust in the knowledge that if we all endure our trials and come unto Christ the end result will be glorious for all of us: eternal life with God.

Am I missing something here? ...How do I explain these things to my gay and lesbian friends? 

Explain with love. As I said earlier, pray for the guidance of the Spirit and speak as you are prompted. Remember that you cannot force knowledge or acceptance of truth on anyone. Agency is powerful and allows us all the choice to accept or deny the truths of the Gospel. Speak truthfully and in the charity of God, neither judging those you have no authority to judge, nor excusing those whose actions you cannot give absolution for. These things (judgment and forgiveness of sin) are for God. All we can do is explain that we love others, that we seek to emulate God in this, that we know God loves them, and that we can testify to particular truths that He has revealed to us.

It is a sign of your tenderheartedness that you hurt for others. Empathy is a critical quality in becoming Christlike, because it allows us to mourn with those that mourn and comfort those who need comforting. Recognize pain. Comfort those who struggle. Know, though, that struggling is asked of all of us because it is what we need to be refined and perfected. Finally, remember that the Lord does not give commandments to any of us without making it possible for us to keep them and that if we endure well our times of trial, we will be exalted on high

Love,

~Anne, Certainly

Question #78909 posted on 08/28/2014 5:48 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Bard,

How many flirts per minute does it take to bake a potato in a half hour?

-The Exquisite

A:

Exquisite Dear,

Impossible complete
To answer is thy query which concerns
The tuberific processes of heat
Which flirting steadily and oft returns.

For thou neglects aright to specify
The type of flirting and the type of spud;
Thus here attempt myself to rectify
Such obstacles and bar against the flood

Of all the sorts of each. Let us begin
With flirting. First, of course, the smile earns
A coquet count of 1. The wink, akin
To such, earns 2. To blow a kiss returns

A triple coquet count, while one of four
Becomes a subtle touch of hand or feet.
Tickling or massaging is a 5,
While bantor's is dependent on its wit

A 2 for dolts, a 3 for flattery,
A 4 must needs be witty through and through,
While 5 requires quick eye battery.
With that established, now I may construe

What flirting count some tubers may require.
A sweet potato blushes easily,
A red bliss more so. Setting them afire
Takes 25 or 30 barely

So flirt but once a minute for half an hour.
On th'other end, the purple majesty
Is noble as a king, the all blue sour;
These will not take thy flirtings easily.

Start low, but quick increase to 5 or 6
Or 7 flirts per minute. 30 past,
You will have managed expertly to fix
Your dinner. Russets, ever stably classed,

Will take an f.p.m. of 3 to bake.
But I wouldst warn you: such a means works right,
Yet tubers oft return the flirts they take
And there's a chance you'll fall in love tonight.

-100 Hour Bard

Question #78790 posted on 08/18/2014 11:18 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board:

When I'm on BYU campus and look up to the north-east at the pointy mountain that I think of as the Lion King rock, if I really look hard I think I can see something on top of it -- like maybe a pole or a flag.

Is there really something up there? If so, what is it? How did it get up there? Or am I imagining it?

-Nala

A:

Dear Nala,

Day 1: Dear Diary, today I start my journey to Squaw Peak, in order that I might discover what it is that sits at the top and towers over all. I am optimistic that I shall reach the top in good time and safety. I travel alone and I leave early this morning, long before the sun has yet risen over the tops of the mountaons. There is a distinct chill to the air and the crunching of my shoes on the gravel echoes in the canyon. I shall shoulder on.

Day 3: I have underestimated the length of this journey. I thought I would be done by now but I wandered onto the wrong path and took much time to recorrect. My provisions might run short. 

Day 6: I came across a rock earlier this morning, with strange etching on it. My spirits fell. I am only now just reaching the proper trail. 

photo 3 (4)_1.JPG

Day 8: I wander long hours and find my nights are filled with terrors rustling in the bushes. There is little to eat in the natural environment and I fear my rations are running short. I have emptied my bag to find two water bottles, two fiber one bars, a strange curvaceous yellow fruit, headphones, an umbrella, keys, my journal, a hairbrush, Chapstick, contact solution and breath freshening drops. I also have a fork and a single band-aid for any grievous wounds I may suffer. I have included a bit of my finger for size reference.

photo 4 (3).JPG

Day 15: I ate the curvaceous fruit. I was desperate. Even the rocks look appetizing to me now. I fall asleep dreaming of their hot, freshly boiled cracks, oozing with butter. I wake with the gritty taste of dirt in my mouth and stones clutched in my fists. 

photo 1 (6).JPG

Day 29: My legs ache and my lungs burn as I ascend this God-forsaken mountain. When will it end?

Day 35: I hate you. 

Day 47: I hate me. 

Day 82: Such agony is surely unbearable. The heat is rising quickly and the flies descend upon my delicate flesh. They bite and tear and I itch as if hot with fever. There is no respite.

Day 134: A miraculous gift has been bestowed upon me. I am able to draw from a hidden well of energy deep within. I shall call this gift a second wind. 

Day 134.5: Second wind gone as quickly as it had come. 

Day 254: Third wind? 

Day 254 1/4: False alarm. 

Day 745: Sometimes I am struck by the beauty of this barren, murderous landscape. Mostly I just cry myself to sleep, listening to the howl of the coyotes and the buzzing of the malaria-infested mosquitoes. 

photo 5 (4).JPG

Day 642: Lost track of the days. Could be Tuesday. Could be Friday. Could be Halloween for all I know. Time moves strangely up here where the wind blows across the hot rocks and weaves the dust into my hair. 

Day 1,333: I have discovered the Fount of Life-Giving Water That is Also Really Cold Which I Like Because Warm Water is Gross. It burbles forth from sort of man-made creation and has greatly refreshed me. 

Day something or other: I have dysentery. 

Day 513: At last. I can see it. I can hear it and taste it and feel it and very nearly touch it. I have reached the top of this arduous peak. I am collapsed, exhausted and alone but I am here. And all I can see is one stolid black flag pole with the American flag atop, blowing in the wind. I would cry tears of joy and wonderment if I was not severely dehydrated. How it got there and who put it there is henceforth unknown, but it has been cemented into a crevice in the rock and there it remains, night and a day. I shall return to the valley, forever changed by my solitary journey into the unknown darkness. 

photo 2 (8).JPG

-Concorde

Question #78658 posted on 08/10/2014 10:48 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How many stories high can you build structures comprised singularly of the following materials before you have to resort to extensive "creative engineering": ice, mud, stone, wood, glass, aluminum, steel, plastic?

-Sad Fantasy Castle

A:

Dear Castle,

Wow, I didn't think the answer to your question was going to be as hard as it turned out. I'm guessing you didn't either, so I'm going to give you a ballpark answer for each material with a brief explanation about why in order to spare this question from becoming a senior thesis.

Ice: The outside temperature is a huge factor. If you're above 250K (around -10 F for us Americans), you'll run into a problem where adding more weight to the top will cause some ice to melt into water (per this journal article by Wagner et al by the American Chemical Society). Assuming you're below 250K, you're only limited to the point when ice begins to be crushed under its own weight. USGS puts this somewhere around 500 pounds per square inch for atmospherically formed ice (meaning that if the ice was formed perfectly in a lab somewhere the ice structure might have fewer defects that increase its strength). 500 lb/in2 is about 1,200 feet of ice (in a column of one square inch) pushing down on the bottom. If a story is 10 feet, that's about 120 stories tall. This calculation considers only a solid block of ice and not rooms, people, furniture, elevators, etc. which would decrease the theoretical maximum height. It also doesn't account for the fact that ice is very brittle and any wind near the top could bend and snap the structure. I'd still say that the theoretical height is around 50 stories (500 feet tall) for a non-usable structure (like a Hershey's Kiss style pyramid/tower of solid ice), but it could be higher. Usable, I think 10 stories would be pushing it but it might be possible.

Mud: If you're talking mud hardened into bricks then it depends on the quality of bricks. I couldn't find any hard numbers, but I'm guessing around 500 feet (50 stories) is reasonable for "modern" bricks. For bricks made of literally mud with straw, like they used to do it, the city of Shibam in Yemen has some of the tallest at 11 stories high (an article about them can be found here). They have been there for centuries, and probably with modern construction capabilities we could go a little bit higher, but not much. A big worry is wind; bricks can't bend and lateral movement at the top would push the bricks out of alignment, causing them not to bear load on the bricks below. If pushed enough, the tower would collapse quickly. Bricks are also terrible in earthquakes for this exact reason. They also don't hold up as well in the environment; floods in Shibam destroyed the foundations of some buildings and they collapsed.

Stone: Similar to mud/bricks, it depends on the type of stone but the limiting factor is the wind. There are some buildings around 500 ft. tall made of stone (such as Torre del Mangia or Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg, more discussion here) and theoretically you could go a bit higher, maybe to 750 feet. The worry again is the wind and lateral force.

Wood: With modern plywood techniques, it seems possible to create a skyscraper at least 30-feet tall. Michael Green Architecture recently was approved to build one in Sweden (article here), and he suggests they can go much higher. He actually has a TED talk if you're into those; you can watch why he is so intent that wood is ideal for future skyscrapers here. This is an area of active development and I'm not sure engineers have placed a cap on how high they can be yet.

Glass: Glass poses a large problem. Without supports it is really quite useless. I can't see how you could build a building purely with glass (how would you connect the panels? How would rooms, walls, stairs, elevator shafts, etc. be constructed?), and if you used supports then the load would probably be born by the supports and we would look at that material rather than glass. Glass is extremely brittle, so even over 5-10 stories and I imagine that wind could cause pieces to snap or shatter. I'm not sure exactly, but it is not very high.

Aluminum: Some types of aluminum alloys can be almost as strong as steel. Some current skyscrapers, like the Taipei 101, actually use some aluminum, but not for the main weight bearing components (see this article). Aluminum simply has different properties than steel (discussed in mild detail in this forum thread), and apparently it can fatigue-fail more easily than steel. I don't know enough about civil engineering to pin a maximum height to an aluminum skyscraper, but I imagine it's at least 100 stories. There might be something I'm missing making it lower, and I think it costs more than similar steel which limits its actual use.

Steel: Per this conversation with a designer of some of the tallest buildings in the world, two miles tall is possible now. He suggested that buildings taller than two miles are theoretically possible to build, but challenges such as transporting people to the top, keeping the space usable, and raising enough capital to build such a building are difficult to overcome.

Plastic: Depending on the shape of the plastic, different heights are possible. This Gizmodo article discusses the theoretical height of a Lego tower and puts it at around 2.17 miles tall using standard bricks. The authors say using special techniques to change the weight of each brick it could be driven up higher. They did not take into account anything beside the weight on the lower bricks crushing them (such as wind blowing at the top, buckling, etc.), so I'm going to say that one mile is more probable out of Legos if it's in the proper shape with a large base and tapering tower at the top. Obviously such a tower is not usable as a building; the maximum height of something usable is maybe on the order of 10 stories.

As you see, it wasn't easy to come up with these figures. Not even the experts can always answer these questions, as it involves design that haven't been realistically explored! Hopefully these estimations are enough for your purposes.

-Ozymandias

Question #78238 posted on 07/28/2014 8:36 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I am a fictional writer - I'm trying to imagine up a world. One thought I had was what if the sea floor went as high as it is deep in the ocean and all the land masses swap like that as well so they are now as deep as they are high now. So just a 100 percent swap around sea level. So the mariana Trench would be the mariana mountain.

What are some interesting things about such a world? (for example Hawaii would be some small lakes. Australia would be a small tree. Anything that would make that world not exist -- would the mariana mountain be higher than any real mountain? Russia Europe would be a ocean -- but would it be deep enough for seafaring travel?)

-Alternate World

A:

Dear fictionist,

It has been entirely too long since I have used ArcGIS. So, I made a map.

My methodology for the map is as follows. I took as my base a map of the world's elevation, both above and below sea level. Using ArcMap, I then simply flipped the coloration--oceans are shown in green and land is shown in blue. For the purposes of this fictional world, then, any location in the real world with an elevation of 1000 meters will have an elevation of -1000 meters. I then committed one of the cardinal sins of cartography--I did not include a legend. In the interest of getting this published in a timely manner, I won't go back and make one; I plead the cartography gods forgiveness for my omission. In the oceans, the darker the blue, the deeper the ocean. On the land, the lighter or yellower the green, the higher the elevation. Each change in shade represents a change of 1000 meters.

inverse world high elevations.jpg

I have set up the picture so that it changes in size with your browser's window size. If it looks grainy, make the window smaller. If you're looking at this on your phone... basically, I am sorry.

Now, there are a couple important things to remember. First, this map projection (like any other map projection) involves a great deal of distortion. In this case, the map preserves direction but greatly distorts size as you get further from the equator. Basically, trust the Ginger's numbers rather than my picture when you're thinking about proportions.

Now, the geography of this world.

One of the first things you'll notice is that, with the exception of a very small number of islands (lakes whose base extends below sea level), the entire world's landmass is connected in a single unit. The oceans are divided into three main groups, which I'll call the Eastern Ocean (Europe, Asia, and Africa), the Western Ocean (North and South America), and the Southern Ocean (Antarctica). The next-largest body of water is the Great Australian Lake.

The coastlines pose an interesting situation. Although there are extensive lowlands on the northern borders of the Eastern and Western Oceans, in most cases the elevation drops very sharply from the World Continent to the oceans. This is the result of the swift dropoffs at the continental shelves in our real world. Even in the low-lying areas, often there is a huge cliff followed by miles of gently sloping land.

Looking at the map, you can see another interesting change--there are very few mountains. Elevation changes very slowly, so although it does vary greatly, the vast majority of the World Continent is more or less flat. In the Atlantic Belt of the continent, there is a valley running down the middle of the belt. In our real world, that is where two plates of the Earth's crust are diverging and magma is rising to the ocean floor to fill the gap. The Indian Protrusion and the Pacific Belt have more complex topographies, but the basic pattern remains the same. The biggest exception is the Mariana Mountains, along the eastern coast of the Eastern Ocean. The mountains are narrow but exceptionally tall.

Islands are few and far between. The largest by far is the Caspian Island in the Eastern Ocean. Although other islands do exist, they are all tiny. (Remember, not all lakes become islands. The only islands are the result of lakes whose floor is below sea level.) The Mediterranean Peninsula is so narrowly connected to the World Continent that it is almost an island, but it is still connected via the Isthmus of Gibraltar.

Lakes, on the other hand, are a bit more common. The Great Australian Lake is the largest, of course, and you could even call it an ocean in the same sense that you'd call Pluto a planet. Other major lakes include the British Lakes, the Japanese Lakes, the Indonesian and Lesser Australian Lakes, Lake Madagascar, and Greenlake and Icelake. All of these are lakes that extend below sea level.

Now that we've established the basic topography of the world, let's examine how climactic and geological forces would affect it.

Our first big question is presented by the joint forces of erosion and gravity. Water is a much stronger force for erosion than air is, which is why I haven't bothered describing the topography of the new ocean floor--it will be smoothed very quickly. The rather smooth continents, on the other hand, have nothing to fear from erosion. The problems come where elevation changes abruptly. Depending on the underlying geology, the seaside cliffs and the Mariana Mountains could end up being smoothed over time. This is fiction, though, so you can make the geology be whatever you want it to be. Just beware of landslides.

Next, there is the climate. If we assume that it is only the land structure that has changed and the planet's orbit and tilt remain the same, then the Southern Ocean will be more or less permanently frozen over, much as the Arctic Ocean is in our world. The same is likely to be true of most or all of Greenlake. The northern lowlands of the World Continent will be much like the northernmost reaches of Siberia and Canada, on the outermost fringe of suitability for human habitation.

This may be modified, however, by a consideration I did not account for when I first started answering this question. While the original source of the Earth's heat energy is the Sun, that energy travels through outer space as electromagnetic radiation and is converted to heat after it reaches the Earth. While some of it is converted to heat in the upper atmosphere, about two-thirds of the electromagnetic radiation that is converted to heat is converted to heat at the planet's surface. Some of this heat remains on the surface, while some is transferred immediately back to the atmosphere. Not surprisingly, water and land behave very differently in this equation. In all honesty, I do not understand this process well enough to tell you how increased land surface area and decreased water surface area would affect this process. If I had to guess, though, I would say that the world would be slightly cooler. This has much more to do with physics than geography, though, and I am most definitely not an expert on physics.

One of the most important basic principles of meteorology is that land changes temperature more rapidly than water. The surface of a land area will both gain and lose heat relatively quickly. The surface and subsurface of a body of water will gain and lose it gradually, and will not reach the same extremes. There are reasons for this, but they're not terribly important as long as you understand the basic fact. Because of the interaction between surface temperature and air temperature, large bodies of water also exert a moderating effect on coastal regions. So, in general, temperatures (both hot and cold) will get more extreme the further you get inland.

The influence of ocean currents will be much less significant in our inverse world than it is in the real world. I do think they would probably exist, but they would be fewer, and they would not interact with each other. In the northern hemisphere, currents move in a clockwise direction; in the southern hemisphere, they move counterclockwise. My best guess is that there would be four of them--one in North America, one in South America, one in Eurasia, and one in Africa. In the real world, currents affect temperature by bringing warm equatorial water towards the poles and cold polar water towards the equator. The east coast of a landmass is generally heated by equatorial water, and the west coast is generally cooled by polar water. There are exceptions caused by non-circular currents, but in the inverse world the oceans would be too disconnected for anything like that to exist.

Certain contributors to temperature would not change at all, of course. For instance, higher elevations will generally be cooler than lower elevations. Areas closer to the poles will be colder, while areas closer to the equator will be warmer. Seasonal variations will exist. Their biggest effect will be in the areas between the equator and the poles, where summers will be hot and winters will be cold. Near the poles, it will be cold year-round; near the equator, it will be hot year-round.

Wind is a very complex topic and the differences probably won't be hugely important, so I won't spend much time on it. Suffice it to say that coastal areas and mountainous areas will have the most persistent winds. Generally, winds will move from sea to land during the day and during the summer, and from land to sea during the night and during the winter. The day-night distinction is more of a localized phenomenon, while the summer-winter distinction is more regional or global. It is this summer-winter reversal of air flow that causes monsoons in certain parts of the world, and you could expect to find a smaller but still significant monsoon effect in some parts of the inverse world. It would probably be most noticeable on the southern coast of the Eastern (Eurasian) ocean, although other equatorial regions near large bodies of water may experience it to one degree or another.

Now, precipitation. Precipitation is a complex process as well, but one constant element is that warm and wet air is forced upwards until it cools and the moisture condenses. This generally happens in one of three ways. Convective uplift (a vertical circular pattern of air movement) create large thunderclouds and is characteristic of warm parts of the world and warm seasons. Orographic lifting is caused by mountains; warm wet air goes up a mountain, cools, drops rain on the windward side of the mountain, and then descends the other side of the mountain both drier and hotter than it was when it started. (This is the cause of rain shadows, and the reason that the pattern of oceans followed by mountains followed by deserts is common.) Frontal lifting (and its less common variant, convergent lifting) is caused when two dissimilar bodies of air meet and the warmer body is forced above the colder body. This creates generalized steady precipitation and tends to occur in the middle latitudes where cold polar air meets hot tropical air. Bodies of air near the poles and the equator are too uniform for this type of precipitation to be common.

Globally, precipitation in our world is highest in the tropical regions. The trade winds move from east to west, so the east coasts of landmasses tend to be on the receiving end of higher precipitation. Coastal mountain ranges in northwestern North America and southwestern South America also produce high precipitation. I suspect that the tendency of the tropics to be particularly rainy would carry over to the inverse world. The west coast precipitation in the Americas obviously would not carry over. However, I suspect it might have a parallel on the eastern end of the Eurasian ocean, between the ocean and the Marianas Mountains. In all of these cases, rain shadows would be strongly accentuated.

Low precipitation in our world tends to occur on the western ends of continents in subtropical latitudes (i.e. 30 degrees), especially if there are mountains to the east. Inland areas may also be very dry simply because of the distance from large bodies of water. Also, the poles have essentially no precipitation. Although they may have permanent snow and ice cover, the complete absence of precipitation makes them technically deserts. All three of these effects would carry over to the inverse world. The inland effect, in all likelihood, would be by far the most significant. Much of the Pacific landmass would be extremely dry.

As a general rule, wet areas have little variation in yearly precipitation, and dry areas have a great deal of variation. Put another way, wet areas are always consistently wet, but dry areas are not always consistently dry.

Because of the placement of the oceans, hurricanes are extremely unlikely and the only region with any reasonable potential for hurricane development is in the northern portion of the African Ocean. (The reasons are too long to include; if you want details, Wikipedia is your friend.) These hurricanes would move northwest after their development, losing force after landfall just as they do in the real world. 

As previously mentioned, there will be several large lakes. However, in this world, just as in our world, not all lakes will be below sea level. The lakes shown on the map will probably all be saltwater lakes. Any rain that falls, however, will be fresh water, and it will flow through rivers and freshwater lakes just as it does here and now. The inland valleys visible in the map will probably hold a large network of lakes; depending on the amount of rainfall, some of them may even become one long, narrow lake. Whether these lakes are freshwater or saltwater would depend on whether they are connected by rivers to the various oceans. Such a connection would usually be plausible. Rivers in the uplands will likely cut canyons leading either to the central lakes or to the oceans. Once they pass the cliffs and enter the lowlands, they will do what water always does at the base of a mountain: slow down and spread out.

All of this is very interesting, of course, but for the most part it's only background to the background of your story. The most important part of all this is how it affects where and how people live.

The first thing you can expect is a significant concentration of population in coastal areas. With the exception of the Antarctic Ocean, most coasts will contain major population centers. Population will also be higher near rivers and lakes. The Atlantic and Indian landmasses will contain such bodies of water, as will the western portions of the Pacific landmass. Conversely, dry inland areas will be sparsely populated. The Pacific landmass is the biggest example; most of it may very well be almost uninhabited. If it does have inhabitants, they will be nomadic rather than settled. In pre-modern eras, at least, access to water is one of the biggest prerequisites to the formation of (relatively) large cities, and severe lack of water may make nomadism the only realistic option for finding sufficient resources to raise food.

Beyond this, I think you'll be as good a judge of how to interpret the effects on life as I am. A good study of history, including where and how ancient cultures developed, will give you the tools necessary to make accurate representations of the inverse world's civilizations.

I'd apologize for the length of this answer, but really, I am not sorry at all. I have had entirely too much fun doing this, and I hope I get the excuse to do it again soon. In the interest of time, I've only included one map; however, if you'd like me to take any of my words and convert them into maps (for instance, climate maps), just email me or submit a follow-up question and I will be extremely happy to make them for you. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

-yayfulness

Question #78196 posted on 07/18/2014 3:18 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I want to better understand prophets in antiquity.

From what I gather from the OT, there were many prophets, many of them contemporary. Many of them traveled in groups while others traveled alone. Yes?

Well, if many of these prophets were prophets by profession, did that mean that often times they were paid for their services? I'm thinking of 1 Sam. 9:6-10:

"And he said unto him, Behold now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is an honourable man; all that he saith cometh surely to pass: now let us go thither; peradventure he can shew us our way that we should go. Then said Saul to his servant, But, behold, if we go, what shall we bring the man? for the bread is spent in our vessels, and there is not a present to bring to the man of God: what have we? And the servant answered Saul again, and said, Behold, I have here at hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver: that will I give to the man of God, to tell us our way. (Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he spake, Come, and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer.)Then said Saul to his servant, Well said; come, let us go. So they went unto the city where the man of God was."

Now was Saul looking for something to give to the prophet as a payment or more of a polite gift? If it was just a polite gift -- do you know if it was normal for prophets to be paid for their services? I obviously know that now days, you don't pay for blessings/prophecy... (no need to discuss that) but I'm talking about the ancient days. If not, how did the prophets support themselves?

In Kings we learn about Elisha and Elijah. It also seems that there are a band/group/guild of prophets. What does this mean exactly? Did people in these groups/bands/guilds get training to become a prophet? Did they enlist themselves? Or were they called by God? We also hear about the 400 prophets in 1 Kings 22:6: "Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall I go against Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king." Is "prophet" in this sense anyone that can receive personal revelation or are they actually prophets like we know them?

Were priests above prophets in reference to kingly authority? In Jeremiah 29:26-27, we know that the high priest Zephaniah was assigned to monitor Jeremiah. Also, in Amos 7:10-17, we read another story of High Priests being placed above prophets in terms of authority? Were these cases just contrary to typical practices? (Because obviously, prophets generally have more authority than high priests).

Can you explain to me what a ephod & urim & thummim are & how prophets used them? (Pictures?)

Lastly, can you tell me what/who women prophetess were? The OT mentions Huldah (2 King 22:14) & Deborah & the prophetess in Isa. 8:3 & mirmiam and Noadiah. What does this mean exactly? What did they do? How do they differ from male prophets? How come we don't have women prophets today?

--Sage

A:

Dear Merry Galel,

I took a trip to the Religion section of the library to find some relevant books on the subject, and found it a quite pleasant place to study. Just the right amount of noise. No windows, though. But I digress.

For many of your questions there are rather incomplete answers, just because the personal details of the lives of the prophets of the Old Testament were less important than the message they shared (Ellison, 13-17).

Well, if many of these prophets were prophets by profession, did that mean that often times they were paid for their services? Now was Saul looking for something to give to the prophet as a payment or more of a polite gift? If it was just a polite gift -- do you know if it was normal for prophets to be paid for their services? If not, how did the prophets support themselves?

From some of my research, it suggests that some of the prophets—most likely false ones—prophesied for money (Ellison, 29). This point is explained more under the next section.

From what I gather from the OT, there were many prophets, many of them contemporary. Many of them traveled in groups while others traveled alone. Yes? It also seems that there are a band/group/guild of prophets. What does this mean exactly? Did people in these groups/bands/guilds get training to become a prophet? Did they enlist themselves? Or were they called by God? 

The Old Testament Student Manual provides the following:

Sometimes there was more than one prophet in Israel, and sometimes there were many prophets. Lehi and Jeremiah were contemporaries, as were many others. Isaiah and Micah are thought to have lived at the same time, addressing different audiences. The question of which prophet had ecclesiastical authority over the others (if one did) cannot be answered because there is insufficient information about their times. Latter-day Saints are more aware of the role of a presiding prophet because the expanded nature of the Church today requires it and because the Lord has directed that there be a presiding prophet today. Elder John A. Widtsoe explained: “When others besides the President of the Church hold the title ‘prophet, seer, and revelator,’ it follows that the ‘power and authority’ thus represented are called into action only by appointment from the President of the Church. For example, a man may be ordained a High Priest, an office in which the right of presidency is inherent, but he presides only when called to do so. It is even so with the exercise of authority under these sacred titles."

However, they didn't enlist themselves. Prophets are always called by the authority of God. 

Elder Widtsoe also explained that “the teacher must learn before he can teach. Therefore, in ancient and modern times there have been schools of the prophets, in which the mysteries of the kingdom have been taught to men who would go out to teach the gospel and to fight the battles of the Lord.” 

The disciples of the prophets were called sons, just as teachers were sometimes called fathers (see 2 Kings 2:12; 6:21). These “sons of the prophets” formed a peculiar group. Possibly they assisted the prophets in their duties, and in time succeeded them. These “sons of the prophets” were trained teachers of religion. Some of them were married and probably lived in houses of their own. Others were unmarried and occupied a building in common, eating at a common table.

It is supposed that the schools of the prophets were founded by the prophet Samuel. A description of him instructing them is found in 1 Samuel 19:19–20. But just how long the schools of the prophets lasted in Old Testament times is not known. They seem to have flourished in the times of Samuel, Elijah, and Elisha. Eventually they degenerated into an unscrupulous guild that divined for money and power. (Old Testament Student Manual).

We also hear about the 400 prophets in 1 Kings 22:6: Is "prophet" in this sense anyone that can receive personal revelation or are they actually prophets like we know them?

So, following the footnote in 1 Kings 22:6, we find a reference to 1 Kings 18:19, which, on the term prophets, has a footnote referring to false prophets, which would imply that they are in neither of the two categories you suggest. There are even false prophets among the true in Israel (Ellison, 13). In fact, this is explained in the Old Testament Student Manual as the prime example of false prophets:

A classic example of a confrontation between false prophets and a true prophet is found in 1 Kings 22. The kings of Judah and Israel had joined forces to fight the Syrians, and Ahab suggested to Jehoshaphat that they go together and take the city of Ramoth. Jehoshaphat asked for the opinion of the prophets. All of Ahab’s prophets counseled them to go to battle. Jehoshaphat pressed Ahab, saying, “Is there not here a prophet of the Lord besides, that we might enquire of him?” (v. 7), and he was told there was one, Micaiah. But Ahab hated him because, he said, “He doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil” (v. 8). Micaiah was called, but Ahab’s servant instructed him, “The words of the prophets [of Baal] declare good unto the king with one mouth; let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of them, and speak that which is good” (v. 13). And Micaiah said, “As the Lord liveth, what the Lord saith unto me, that will I speak” (v. 14). Though it put his own life in jeopardy, he spoke the truth. The false prophets said whatever would please the king and help them maintain their favored status in the court.

Were priests above prophets in reference to kingly authority? Were these cases just contrary to typical practices?

The instance mentioned in Jeremiah actually deals with a false prophet, Shemaiah, who was trying to undermine Jeremiah's authority. Ellison explains concerning the second reference that, "Amos' message will have wakened fierce hostility...in official priestly circles," (33). I would say that these instances are contrary to the typical practices. It seems that both of them deal with people who are unhappy with the messages that the official messengers of God are sharing. 

Can you explain to me what a ephod & urim & thummim are & how prophets used them?

The 1973 Ensign "I Have a Question" section explains this concerning the ephod:

The ephod was an article of sacred clothing worn by the high priests of the Levitical Priesthood. The Lord directed that they were not to wear ordinary clothing during their service, but they were to have “holy garments” made by those whom the Lord had “filled with the spirit of wisdom.” (Ex. 28:2–3.) These sacred garments were to be passed from father to son along with the high priestly office itself. (Ex. 29:29.)

The ephod, worn over a blue robe, was made of blue, purple, and scarlet material, with designs of gold thread skillfully woven into the fabric. This garment was fastened at each shoulder and had an intricately woven band with which it could be fastened around the waist. In gold settings on each shoulder were onyx stones engraved with the names of the 12 sons of Israel as a “memorial” as the priest served before the Lord. (See Ex. 28:6–14 and Ex. 39:2–7). Fastened to the ephod was a breastplate into which the Urim and Thummim could be placed. (Ex. 28:15–30.)

The exact function of the ephod is not known. As President Joseph Fielding Smith observed, information concerning these ancient ordinances “was never recorded in any detail, because such ordinances are sacred and not for the world.” (Improvement Era, November 1955, p. 794.)

There are later references to a linen ephod; the boy Samuel, for example, wore such a garment when he served the Lord.

As for the Urim and Thummim, "the religious Jew, apart from an exceptional crisis that might occur once in a life-time, had outgrown the need for some almost mechanical means for the discovery of God's will, whether through the priest with Urim and Thummim or the prophet through his dreams or clairvoyance," (Ellison, 117). Only seers used the Urim and Thummim, and while "a seer could be a prophet, ...a prophet was not necessarily a seer. A prophet was in a sense a practical religionist who advised and counseled his people through the inspiration of the Spirit, but who did not necessarily enjoy a knowledge of the higher mysteries of the Lord's kingdom," (Sperry, 8)

Can you tell me what/who women prophetess were? What does this mean exactly? What did they do? How do they differ from male prophets? How come we don't have women prophets today? 

I would greatly recommend reading Camille Fronk Olson's Women of the Old Testament, particularly the section entitled "Prophetesses," which will afford you a look into the lives of some of the Old Testament prophetesses. Prophet is more often used in the Bible in a general sense. The gift of prophecy, as one of the gifts of the Spirit, is not connected to directing the church, but can include women and men. "Prophetesses and prophets are endowed with the spiritual knowledge that Jesus is the Christ; they then bear that witness by the same Spirit. More than predicting future events, prophets and prophetesses deliver God's message of warning or direction pertaining to current situations, a message that can also have a profound effect on an entire people," (Olson, 83).

I hope this helps to answer your questions, and if you have any further questions, the sources listed below should help to answer some of those.

-Tally M.

Sources:

Bess, S. Herbert. "The Office of the Prophet in Old Testament Times." Grace Journal 1.1 (1960): 7-12. Web. <https://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/ted_hildebrandt/otesources/23a-prophets/text/articles/bess-prophet-gtj.pdf>.

Day, John. Prophecy and Prophets in Ancient Israel: Proceedings of the Oxford Old Testament Seminar. New York: T & T Clark, 2010. Print.

Ellison, H. L. The Old Testament Prophets: A Study Guide; Studies in the Hebrew Prophets. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1971. Print.

Old Testament Student Manual: 1 Kings - Malachi. Salt Lake City, UT: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1982. Web.

Olson, Camille Fronk. Women of the Old Testament. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2009. Print.

Sperry, Sidney B. The Voice of Israel's Prophets: A Latter-day Saint Interpretation of the Major and Minor Prophets of the Old Testament. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1962. Print.

Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I was watching Monuments Men the other day... The potential was grand, but I'm afraid it flopped... (am I right?). Anyway, this got me thinking about the validity of this movie?

I know the Nazis were ransacking Europe for art, but did they really keep their statues and stuff in the Neuschwenstein Castle in Bavaria (the original Disney/Cinderella castle)? I went there, and no one mentioned that to me when I was touring it.... (So is this a movie fantasy or did the Germans try to sweep this part of their history under the rug by not mentioning it in one of their hottest tourist spots?).

Did the Nazis hide art in salt/copper/etc. mines? Wouldn't this negatively impact the paintings? The moist atmosphere, etc?

Any famous art pieces that have extraordinary WWII stories?

Any famous art pieces still missing, but have the potential to be found? What is the most recently discovered stolen art by the Nazis that have been discovered?

Did they hide archaeological artifacts?

--Artifice Thief

-My Name Here

A:

Dear human,

The movie, while not perfect, actually got a lot of things right in terms of its overall, big-picture validity. WWII in Europe caused a large amount of damage to historical buildings and art, which was devastating to culture. It was also bad for the image of the United States, which then took measures to destroy as few monuments as possible. In addition to issuing a letter to its whole army to be careful, there were some specialized officers hired, many of whom were art historians, who were specifically responsible to preserve culturally significant objects. These officers became known as the Monuments Men.

Neuschwenstein Castle

Neuschwenstein Castle really was one of three major locations used by the Germans to store stolen art as well as valuable possessions they had seized from Jews that had been sent to concentration camps. The hoard of items was massive. It included about 1700 paintings, some sculptures, and household items such as china and silverware. Once the Allies gained control, it took about 49 train loads in order to return everything back. 

Most of the items at Neuschwenstein were taken from Paris. A lot of things were actually able to be returned to their rightful owners because of a French art historian named Rose Valland. She was the overseer of the Jeu de Paume museum in Paris where Hitler and other prominent Nazis would select hundreds of pieces of art for their collections. She was a small, easy-to-overlook woman who secretly spoke German. Like a fly on the wall, she paid attention to what was going on and every night when she went home she recorded who took what, who it belonged to, and where it was sent. She did this at the risk of execution.

Is that not the coolest story ever? I know you didn't ask for stories about Neuschwenstein Castle specifically but I just had to tell this one because her actions were so heroic.

Famous Art with Extraordinary WWII Stories

Ghent Altarpiece by Hubert and Jan Van Eynck

board1.png

(outside of altarpiece)

board2.jpg

(inside of altarpiece)

One of the most famous pieces of art stolen by the Nazis was the Ghent altarpiece, a painting composed of several panels that can be opened and closed. It was stolen from a cathedral in Belgium and held in Hitler's personal art stash in a salt mine in Austria. As depicted in the movie, it was found and returned.

The Astronomer by Vermeer

board3.jpg

This was another incredibly famous painting that was stolen by Hitler. It was later returned. I know this isn't the coolest story but I really like Vermeer so here it is.

Winged Victory of Samothrace

board4.jpg

This second century (and therefore almost two thousand-year-old) sculpture was one of many art pieces that was taken out of the Louvre. It was incredibly difficult to move because it is large and very delicate because it was previously broken into many pieces and reassembled. The curator, as it was being moved, fell to his knees and expressed that he felt that it would never make it back into the Louvre. Fortunately he was wrong, and it did make it back.

Actually, it's worth mentioning here that everything was taken out of the Louvre and hidden in castles in the French countryside. Moving everything out was a huge job and lots of volunteers were recruited to help pack. I think that's such a cool story. I wasn't even there and I can vicariously feel the camaraderie. 

Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo Da Vinci

board5.jpg

This painting was stolen from a place in Poland and eventually returned. It was treated very unceremoniously by the Nazis who stole and hid it, which we know because it was discovered with a boot print on it, if you can wrap your head around that. Can you imagine stepping on a LEONARDO DA VINCI painting? I know I can't.

Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci

board6.jpg

While we are on the subjects of Leonardo Da Vinci and the Louvre, the Mona Lisa was also evacuated from the museum when it became apparent that Paris would be taken over by the Nazis. It was taken to its hiding place in a sealed ambulance with perfect humidity and temperature. Upon arrival at the destination, the back of the ambulance was opened, and it was found that the attendant who was with the Mona Lisa had passed out because the chamber was so well sealed. To that guy, way to take one for art.

David by Michelangelo 

board7.jpg

David, along with several other sculptures in Florence, had brick walls built around it in case it got bombed. 

Lots of measures were taken in Florence to protect art simply because there is so much that is valuable there. When the Allies were attempting to bomb the Nazi rail yard the pilots, they were given super specific targets and were forbidden from dropping bombs near significant sites. It was one of the most precise missions of the war.

Unfortunately, Florence still suffered a lot of damage to its art and architecture. The Germans deliberately trashed the city when they left. They destroyed the central bridges which had priceless, Michelangelo-designed arches. Additionally, during the time they occupied Florence they took art by big names like Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Raphael and they treated it really roughly. Sometimes they even moved it during battles, which was bad. 

Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia

 board8.jpg

This beautiful museum is a work of art all by itself! When the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union, the museum tried to evacuate as much of its art as possible to hide it in Siberia. However, they only were able to relocate about half. During the 900 day siege of Leningrad (what St. Petersburg was called at the time), at one point about two thousand people took shelter in cellars under the museum and worked to protect the gallery and what remained in it. Several of them died.

Les Jeunes Amoreux by François Boucher

board10.jpg

Here is a shout out to Utah! This painting was stolen by a high-ranking Nazi official and eventually found its way to the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. However, the museum found out that it was stolen by Nazis and so they found the rightful owner and gave it back.

Missing Art/Restoring Damaged Art

There are literally thousands of pieces of art that are still missing. Some are known but the ownership is under dispute, and some of them are completely unknown as to their location. Thousands of artworks from Poland were lost. Lots of valuable art and antique furniture from the USSR were also lost. The Red Army found almost nothing of value when they returned because it had been taken by the Nazis.

On the flip side, the Red Army actually stole a lot of German art that still hasn't been returned. Its locations are known, but the Russians refuse to give it back because they feel justified in having taken it because of the culturally significant items stolen and massive loss of life caused by the Germans. It's still a bitter battle.

The good news is that a lot of these things are expected to resurface over time. A lot of things that were confiscated were catalogued and with improvements in technology and communication it is easier to identify stolen pieces and return them.

Some of the lost and damaged pieces were really significant, so I have highlighted a few of those here.

Portrait of a Young Man by Raphael

board11.jpg

This is arguably the most famous piece of art lost in the war. No one knows what happened to it. It could be destroyed, it could be hiding in someone's basement somewhere, or it could be a lucrative black market item. Hopefully eventually it will resurface. 

Gold Portait by Gustav Klimt

board12.jpg

This is a famous painting that was stolen by the Nazis which was never returned to the family. Instead, it was given to the Austrian State Gallery. This was justified largely by some slightly ambiguous wording in the will of the owner.

The Camposanto

board13.jpg

The frescoes (paintings on the plaster of the walls) of the Camposanto of Pisa, while not missing per se, were blown up by bombs. Which makes them kind of lost. But almost for over 25 years people have been working on putting it back together (worst jigsaw puzzle ever), which I think is pretty amazing and inspiring.

Archaeological Artifacts

I'm not sure what qualifies as "archaeological artifacts", but there were many valuable possessions stolen from Jewish people who went to concentration camps that were hidden. While some pieces are being returned to descendants and relatives of the original owners, most of these pieces eventually went to museums and libraries around the world. 

I know your question asks if archaeological artifacts were hidden, but I think it's worth mentioning a ton of valuable architectural sites were destroyed. The Warsaw Castle, an important national symbol in Poland, was utterly destroyed deliberately by the Nazis in order to punish the people for fighting back. Additionally, there were many Russian palaces (including those of Catherine and Peter the Great) that were destroyed. Leo Tolstoy's country estate was destroyed as well.

Honestly, there were countless historical sites throughout Europe that were destroyed. I already mentioned this but the Camposanto in Pisa was historically significant and was largely destroyed. So were the central bridges with the Michelangelo arches. Another important loss was the Monte Cassino, the abbey that housed the original Benedictine order of monks (the original strict, highly-scheduled monks that inspired that stereotype).

Salt and Copper Mines

I couldn't find any information anywhere that said that the mines' humidity or temperature damaged anything, so I don't think that was a huge problem. If anything, the worst thing about the mines were that some artworks were plundered and lost en route to storage there.

If You Want to Know More...

I got almost all of the information for this answer by watching a documentary that my professor recommended called The Rape of Europa, which can be rented at the Media Center in the HBLL. I really enjoyed it and if you want to know more, it is a great watch. It will give you a whole new angle on WWII and teach you about art!

-Sheebs

posted on 07/28/2014 10:06 p.m.
Sheebs gives a wonderfully detailed answer. I just want to add that the movie is based on a book. The book version is based on interviews, journals, and extensive research and provides quite the in-depth look at this extraordinary historical endeavor. I loved the book!


-wxyz
posted on 07/28/2014 11:55 p.m.
I'd just like to make a quick correction. The Ghent altarpiece was hidden in a salt mine in AUSTRIA, not Belgium. Sorry!

-Sheebs
Question #77880 posted on 06/08/2014 8:06 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Bored,

Who's your favorite editor?

-Not Anonymous

A:

Dear nope,

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

-crossed fingers

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

Dear 100 Hour Board

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

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

A:

Dear you,

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

The Anne, Certainly Guide to Having a Positive Date Experience 

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

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

The Anne, Certainly Guide for Turning Down a Date

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. Say goodbye. 

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

The end.

1. Sufficient Unto the Date is the Evil Thereof

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A few tips on this:

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

Dear 100 Hour Board,

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

-The Inquisitor

A:

Dear Inquisitor and other Readers,

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

100_hr_b_converted_1.jpg

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

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

Do we have enough information?

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

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

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

Will it be excessively difficult to find the answer?

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

Will the information be useful for other readers?

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

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

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

Am I busy right now?

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

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

- Haleakalā

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

Dear 100 Hour Board,

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

-This whole love/sex thing is complicated!

A:

Dear you,

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

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

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

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

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

-Ozymandias

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear 100 Hour Board,

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

-genevieve

A:

Dear genevieve,

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Owlet

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

Dear 100 Hour Board,

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

-just wondering

A:

Dear just,

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

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

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

Additional Commentary:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Curious Physics Minor

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

Dear 100 Hour Board,

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

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

A:

Dear princesa,

I have a new favorite distraction.

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

Enjoy, and happy finals week!

-yayfulness

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

Dear 100 Hour Board,

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

-Don

A:

Dear you,

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

Can I have a tenner? (tener - Spanish)

The store is closed for May (ferme - French)

~Anne, Certainly

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

Dear 100 Hour Board,

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

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

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

- Zwerg Zwei

A:

Dear Ice Warrior,

Here are all of the languages, according to Wikipedia.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Tally M.

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

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

Dear 100 Hour Board old and current writers,

Do any of you share the same birthday?

-Birthday bear

A:

Dear bear:

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

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

Board Parents Get Busy in August

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

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

Thanks for the fun question!

---Portia

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

Dear 100 Hour Board,

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

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

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

A:

Dear Cinnamon,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clearly most of my favorite activities are food-related.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Marguerite St. Just

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

Dear 100 Hour Board,

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

Thanks,
relationships are not my forte

A:

Dear forte,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Owlet