"I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained. " - Walt Disney
Question #81380 posted on 03/05/2015 10:20 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How do you create self-motivation that outweighs laziness and other demotivating factors?

Example 1: My boss is never mad at me when I'm late and getting up in the morning is not my specialty. Any internal/external motivation I have from not wanting to be judged by my co-workers or not wanting to be that kind of person is outweighed by not wanting to go to work (I don't like my job) and laziness and sometimes other factors.

Example 2: My mental health. I just don't want to make the effort required to have good mental health and sometimes I get little boosts of motivation because I get too far down, but they don't always last. With this there's also things like not even wanting to be happy with my appearance because I don't like the way I look and other things.

Example 3: Exercise takes effort, time, pain, and other things. And I don't think I'll like the way I'll look afterwards anyway so it's hard to want to do it if I figure I won't be attractive afterwards anyway.

Thanks!
word processor

A:

Dear Word Processor,

Welcome to one of the greatest plights of our generation.  Fun, isn't it?

I am really excited to answer your question, not because I am an expert on the subject, but because I have been there before and have found a lot of things that help me, personally, to get rid of that annoying thing called apathy.

As Sam Bracken says, "The desire to be different is where change begins." You simply cannot change without a strong desire to do so. The fact that you submitted this question shows that you do have at least a starting desire to be different.  Now you have to do all you can to help that desire grow.

So, start by taking an inventory of where you are. Are you busy right now? No? Good. Sit down and start with some introspection. Be completely honest with yourself about where you are now and about where you want to be.  What are the specific things blocking you from becoming your ideal self? What are the negative effects of choosing to go to work late, not exercise, not care for your mental health, etc. What would some of the benefits be if you started to change those things?

Now, if there is one thing necessary to self-motivation it is positivity. If you are constantly feeling down in the dumps, it is going to be practically impossible to motivate yourself.  For this reason, I would suggest attacking the problem of your mental health first.  If you are a BYU student, take advantage of the free counseling services. If you are not, seek counseling in some other setting. You may be experiencing some degree of depression, and if that is the case, you are going to need some outside help before you can begin to motivate yourself.

Apart from counseling, one of the best ways to become more positive, and thus more easily motivated, is to surround yourself with positive things. Read motivational books.  Start your day off with the teachings of the gospel. Before you leave in the morning, read your scriptures for 5 minutes or watch a 5 minute Mormon Message. This may seem difficult, but planning, accountability, and rewards, all of which I will discuss later, will help.

It's also important to remember that surrounding yourself with positive things is often accomplished through eliminating negative or even neutral things in your life. One of my goals right now is to not watch TV. And let me tell you, I think I discovered one of the secrets of the universe. Yes, I have slipped a couple times (I needed to watch the Parks and Recreation finale, obviously), but in general, cutting TV out has helped me immensely to feel more motivated to do more productive things. During the time I would have spent watching TV, I end up sitting there, realizing I now have nothing to do, and then suddenly thinking, "Well, I could write a letter to my cousin who is on a mission," or, "Well, I guess I could get started on my homework." Cut time-wasters, whatever they may be for you, out of your life.

L. Tom Perry said, "We all make daily entries in our books of life. Occasionally we take it from the shelf and examine the entries we are making. What kind of memories will flood your mind as you examine the pages of your personal entries?" Value your life and your time enough to cut out things that are wasting it.  I promise this will help you to feel more motivated across all aspects of your life.

The next essential in creating self-motivation is planning, and by that I mean specific planning. If I tell myself that I'm going to go to the gym tomorrow, the chances of it happening are maybe 20%. If, on the other hand, I write in my planner that from 7PM-8PM I am going to the gym, the chances it will happen improve to maybe 85%.

Buy yourself a planner that has specific lines for each hour of the day and plan each day before you go to bed. Don't just make a to-do list, put each thing that you have to do at a specific time during the day. I am glad that you have going to the gym on your list because honestly, once you do accomplish it, it will motivate you in many other aspects of your life, as well.

In fact, it has been a goal of mine lately to go to the gym three times a week and, wow, has it made a difference. Another thing that helps me is listening to motivating music at the gym, as I walk home from the gym, and even as I am doing daily chores like putting my laundry away. Turn down your Bon Iver just for a while, and make a playlist of motivating music.

Since I have already brought up goal setting, let's talk about it. My favorite method of goal setting is the spiritual-physical-mental-social method. Right now, on the wall right next to my bed I have a post-it note for one goal from each of these areas of life. Physical: Go to the gym 3X a week. Mental: NO TV. Spiritual: Read the scriptures for 15 minutes every day. Social: Talk to at least 3 new people every day.

Make goals and keep them where you can see them, otherwise you will likely forget about them. Don't make too many goals, make just enough that you have a road map for where you are going.

Still, goal setting on its own is not enough. In fact, goal setting can be a well-intentioned road to nowhere without the next step: accountability.

Never allow yourself to be the only person who knows about your goals. Tell as many people as possible about your goals, especially people whose opinion of you is important to you.  Tell friends, roommates, family, heck, even post it on Facebook as long as it isn't too personal.  Finally, tell the Lord. Then ask specific people to hold you accountable. One of my friends at work is currently holding me responsible for my spiritual and social goals, and it motivates me a lot to know that when I go to work the next day, she is going to be asking me how things are going.

In addition to these kind of social rewards from others, reward yourself! Next to each goal that you make, list a reward of something you are going to give yourself if you succeed. (Again, tell somebody else about it so that you can't cheat).  I've also found that one of the greatest rewards I can give myself is being able to record my successes in my journal.  Keeping a journal allows you to see how far you have come and gives you motivation to keep going.

Now, for anyone who is actually still reading, I've only got a couple of tips left.  First, just as positivity is important in creating self-motivation, keeping up your self-esteem is just as important. Stop comparing yourself to others and make a conscious effort to silence both the critics without and the critics within. Sam Bracken said, "Getting where you want to go begins with opening your eyes and seeing yourself differently. Our potential is almost unlimited, but we hinder ourselves when we allow critics to drag us down or let low self-esteem keep us mired in a pit."

Finally, stay energized. For the kajillionth time, I am putting in a plug for going to the gym, but that is not all. Make sure you get enough protein and take B-vitamins. Don't take naps during the day, and get enough sleep at night, without oversleeping.  If you are tired or unhealthy, it will only be that much harder to motivate yourself.

Okay, last but not least, when you really have a hard time getting yourself to do something, just start. Starting is always the hardest part.  Put away anything and everything that may be distracting you and just start.

I hope you know that I am not even close to perfect at living all the ideals that I just described, but I feel a lot more motivated, happy, and fulfilled when I do live them.  Be patient with yourself, know that you will make mistakes, but keep trying and remind yourself daily of the value of your life and of the time you have been given.

Love,

Vienna

Question #81323 posted on 03/13/2015 9:12 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I've had a few ideas for fairy tales based on The Board, but alas! no time to write them. Can you spin any of the following yarns for me? (You obviously don't have to do all of them if you don't want to.)

Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs (including yayfulness, of course)
The Soulful Gingerbread Woman
Concorderella
Rapunzedability
Haleakaladdin and the Magic Lamp
Oedipus and the Riddle of the M.O.D.A.Q. (Monstrous Organism Destined to Ask Questions)
The Prince With a Hundred Hours (El-ahrairah)
Owlet Little (Chicken Little)
Sleeping Handsome (Inverse Insomniac - Sleeping Beauty)
The Squirrel Prince (Ardilla Feroz - The Frog Prince)
Tally Midas
Anne and the Beanstalk
Heidi and Gretel
The Pied Piper of Vienna
Squirrel in Boots (Squirrel)
Ms. O'Malley and the Three Bears
The Elves and the Psychologist (Divya - The Elves and the Shoemaker)
Pinocchio Meets the Tunnel Worms
BYUbeard (Bluebeard)
The Writer Who Called Editor (The Boy Who Cried Wolf)
The Writer Who Wrote Golden Answers (The Goose Who Laid Golden Eggs)

&tc.

Thanks so much in advance!

-Renumerative Lair

A:

Dear ReaL,

I like stories.

The Little Owlet that Could

O is for Old English.pngnce upon a time there was an Owlet. This Owlet was a cute little woodland creature who had always dreamed of writing for the 100 Hour Board. One day Owlet asked her not-a-furry-woodland-creature friend if she thought she could ever achieve her dream.

"Of course not!" said her friend. "Everyone knows woodland creatures can't be Board writers!"

This made the Owlet sad, but it didn't make her give up. She kept reading the Board every day. A few months later, she asked another friend if he thought she could achieve her dream.

"Hah!" scoffed the friend. "Maybe if you were a human like me, they might accept you. But a woodland creature? You'll just get fed to the tunnel worms!"

Now the Owlet wasn't sad. She was determined.

So the Owlet sat down at her woodland computer. "I think I can! I think I can!" She typed up her application, thinking carefully about each letter as she pecked it out. "I think I can! I think I can!" This she did hour after hour until at last it was done. She hit "submit," and soon after, a glorious email appeared in her inbox: she was accepted!

"I thought I could! I thought I could!"

She was, of course, too polite to actually say this to her doubting friends.

The Legend of Zed Hollow

O is for Old English.pngnce upon a time there was a great and powerful writer named Zedability. She was, in fact, one of the writing-est writers ever to write. She read, and she wrote, and she wrote, and she read. She also hated all numbers greater than 100, so she wrote even faster when questions got over hours.

One day, she had written so much that she wrote herself into a terrible, terrible tiredness. As she wandered the tunnels, she came across a cozy-looking hole in the wall.

"I should climb inside," she thought. "I bet this would be a good place to take a nap. Then maybe when I'm done I can do answer that crazy-over-hours question that yayfulness keeps forgetting about. If I'm ever going to tackle that, I need to get some sleep."

So that is just what she did.

She woke up feeling beautifully refreshed.

"Oh, that is the best decision I've ever made!" she exclaimed between yawns. "I feel like I slept enough to make up for my last thousand answers. Now, about that temples question that yayfulness never answered..."

But it was a miracle! When she checked the Board, the question was gone! At first, she was excited that she didn't have to see a four-digit number anymore. But then things started getting strange.

"Wait a second. Where did Concealocanth go? What's a M.O.D.A.Q.? When did Squirrel learn Spanish, call herself Feroz, and... become a boy? This is all so confusing!"

It was right around this moment that she realized that her hair was so long that it was touching the floor.

"Oh no! I must have slept a year and a half! This is terrible! So many overdue questions! So many answers I could have written! So much I need to do!"

And so she started writing again, and there was much rejoicing.

The Little Red (Tally) M.

O is for Old English.pngnce upon a time there was a little red M who wanted to make the inbox clean.

Zed, of course, was asleep, and so she couldn't make the inbox clean. And since she had gone, nobody else cleaned it up either. It was, in fact, a terrible, terrible mess.

And so the little red M decided she was going to clean it up. First she talked to the Haleasdfjkl.

"Haleabcd, can you help me clean up the inbox?"

"I'm sorry, little red M," he replied. "I've just been swamped with homework and I'm actually on hiatus right now. I can help when I get back!"

The little red M did not give up. Next she talked to the yayfulness.

"Yay, can you help me clean up the inbox?"

"But then I'd have to stop playing with maps!" said the yay. "I'll do it tomorrow. I like tomorrow. Tomorrow is a better deadline than today."

The little red M tried not to grumble. Instead, she went to visit the Inverse Insomniac.

"Inverse Insomniac, can you please help me clean up the inbox?"

"I'd love to!" he exclaimed. "Here, I'll get started by answering this questiozzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..."

And just like that, he fell asleep.

The little red M sighed and walked out the door.

"Haleakaqefij is on haleahiatus, yayfulness is procrastinating, and Inverse Insomniac is asleep. None of the other writers will help me. But the inbox will be clean! I'll just have to do it all by myself."

And that is exactly what she did.

It was a long, hard day's labor, but at the end of the day, there was a nice, shiny inbox with beautiful words: ZERO OVERDUE.

When all the other writers saw it, they were thrilled.

"We did it!" they shouted.

"No," the little red M responded, "I did it."

And that was that.

Anne and the Beanstalk

O is for Old English.pngnce upon a time there was a writer who was called Anne, Certainly. She needed to find a new place for the Board to live, since the Universe no longer existed every day. She also didn't like beans.

One day, someone gave her beans to eat. "Yuck!" she exclaimed, and threw them out her window. She then forgot about it completely.

The next day, when she woke up, something marvelous had happened: a giant beanstalk had grown in her back yard!

"I have no idea why," she said, "but I feel like I should climb this beanstalk."

So climb it she did.

When she reached the top, she saw a giant castle. "This would make a perfect home for the Board!" she said.

She ran inside, and saw stacks upon stacks of giant-sized servers. "This looks wonderful! But who could ever need such a giant collection of servers?"

The answer, of course, was a giant.

"ANSWER TENLY!" the giant boomed. "WHAT IS A WRITER DOING IN MY CASTLE?"

"Um..." she mumbled. "Running away!"

So she ran and she ran, but the giant ran faster. Soon he had caught up to her.

"ANSWER TENLY," he said, calmly but still very loudly, "I ACTUALLY REALLY LIKE THE HUNDRED HOUR BOARD. I HEARD YOU NEEDED A NEW PLACE TO LIVE. WOULD YOU LIKE TO COME LIVE IN MY SERVERS?"

Anne was too terrified to speak.

"WOW," said the giant, "AM I REALLY THAT SCARY?"

He was.

But the story was a happy story, because he sent Anne down to talk to the rest of the Board, and soon they had all moved into their new home. And everyone was happy. 

Rumplestalkskin

O is for Old English.pngnce upon a time there was a writer who thought he was very clever. He liked to call himself yayfulness, but he had a great secret: that was not his real name.

This writer loved to get emails from readers, especially since they were usually girls. Each time he did, he sent them a challenge.

"I am the great and most thoroughly clever yayfulness! And to prove my great cleverness, I give you a challenge! You see, my real name is not yayfulness. (I know, surely you are shocked.) Guess my real name, and I will grant you anything you desire!"

Some gave up immediately. Some tried to find his true name. When they did, the writer would give them clues. Sometimes they were real clues. Sometimes they were true, but they made you think the wrong thing. Sometimes, they were just made up.

The writer did this because he loved to see people guess wrong.

One day, the writer received an email from a girl who called herself "Rumplestalkskin."

"Hm," thought the writer. "I have a new victim. I will make her play my guessing game!"

And so he sent her his challenge. She sent him an email again the next day.

"I'm afraid I have no idea how to find out who you are. Unless your name is... maybe... John?"

The writer grinned. He loved it when people guessed wrong. He wrote back:

"I see we have no mutual Facebook friends, Rumplestalkskin, so I can't give you clues, can I? I guess... that name has one letter of my real name."

Sure enough, she wrote him back.

"But that doesn't do me any good! There are millions of names to guess! Um... Andrew!"

"Wrong!" the writer wrote to her. "But you're getting more of the right letters."

"This is so fun," he thought to himself. "She will never guess my real name."

When he saw another email from Rumplestalkskin in his inbox, he grinned.

"I don't even know what to do. I give up! Unless your name is..."

[Unfortunately, it would appear that this page has been ripped out of the book.]

The writer's grin was no longer a grin. Actually, it was the opposite.

"WHAT? HOW COULD SHE HAVE GUESSED? THERE ARE MILLIONS OF NAMES IN THE WORLD! HOW DID SHE GUESS MINE? I DIDN'T EVEN GIVE HER GOOD CLUES!"

But the writer had a promise that he had to keep.

"Okay, okay, Rumplestalkskin, you've guessed my name. This means that you get one wish, and I have to fulfill it. What is your wish?"

And she wrote back:

"I wish... to marry you!"

So that's what they did.

The writer still thinks he's very clever. And Rumplestalkskin still loves to prove him wrong.

THE END

-yayfulness

Question #81069 posted on 02/16/2015 12:32 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Dating. Marriage. Blessings.

I received a blessing by my stake president a few years ago that told me the place where I was moving to would be where I would meet and marry my eternal companion. Then when I moved to this place, I received a calling and while I was being set-apart, the 1st counselor mentioned that it would be in this ward that I would marry my eternal companion. I have never had this told to me explicitly before. It has been a few years since those blessings by two different priesthood holders that had stewardship over me had what seemed random at the time told me I would marry in this location, and I have still yet to even been in a serious relationship. I have been in this location for a few years, and I know pretty much everyone in the ward, especially the guys. To be honest, I'm not interested in any of these guys so I don't feel bad for not being in a relationship, but I'm getting anxious about being unmarried. There are not too many members here, and I feel my opportunities are slimming down drastically, and I fear it will only get harder to find "Mr. Right." Have I not met him yet because I haven't been worthy enough for him to be sent my way? Not that you know. But do you have any recommendations of what I should be doing? Should I be out trying to missionize more in case my eternal companion is not yet a member? Should I start attending mid-singles adult ward activities? What to do? What to do, almighty relationship experts? Or are blessings sometimes wrong?

-Always a bridesmaid, never a bride

A:

Dear Future Bride,

I have a friend who is going through a similar situation, and so this is something I have actually been thinking about quite a bit lately.

I think the number one most important thing to remember is that priesthood blessings, as well as patriarchal blessings, are never meant to cause us stress.  They are simply meant to provide us with a glimpse of the possibilities in our future, giving us determination to do our best and a sense of assurance that as we do so, God will guide us in our endeavors.

When it comes to the type of promised blessings you are describing, the trick is finding a balance between two things:

1. Striving your best to do your part in bringing your promised blessings to pass.

2. Not allowing yourself to stress out about when or how in God's timetable those blessings will occur.  

It's a hard balance to find, but it is possible.

I want to talk about point one first.  Being promised blessings does not mean that you can expect those blessings to happen without doing any of the work.  Sometimes, God promises us a blessing, not because He is just going to set the blessing right down in front of us, but because He knows that, as we pursue that blessing, we will grow in important ways.  This has really hit home for me lately, because, in honesty, when I returned from my mission, I expected a lot of blessings to just appear in my life.  But it didn't work like that. God knew that if He gave me the blessings I desired immediately, I wouldn't be able to grow in ways that I needed to.  If He had simply placed a perfect boyfriend in my life, I wouldn't have had to leave my social bubble, I wouldn't have had to reach out to so many people, and I wouldn't have grown as much.  Having to wait for and strive to obtain the blessing of marriage has helped me become a better person.  And since I'm not getting engaged any time in the near future, I am guessing there is still a lot of growing that I have left to do!

Sometimes we think of marriage as something that will just passively happen to us in God's timing.  IT IS NOT SO. We must act to see our promised blessings fulfilled.  So, I think that, yes, you should do all you can to meet new people in your area.

Another thing that may be holding you back is the "soulmate mentality" so common in our LDS dating culture.  You may be looking specifically for Mr. Right and not seeing him, and that could be the problem.  I used to have a huge "soulmate mentality" problem.  In fact, I am the asker of this question, and the reason I  was thinking about dating in that way was because I was too fixated on figuring out if someone was "the one" way too early.

But since I have let go of the soulmate mentality, a lot of amazing things have been happening.  First, I feel a lot less pressure when I meet and talk to boys now, which allows me to be myself and not feel so awkward.  Second, I am more motivated to meet MORE people because I'm not fixated on just one person at a time. Third, and I don't even know why this is exactly, but I get a lot more dates and interest from boys now that I have changed my dating mentality.  Girls, I am telling you, this works. So, future bride, I would say that you should do all you can to meet new people.  It may seem silly, but make goals about how many boys you want to meet or talk to each day. Don't be afraid to get to know people better, even if there isn't an obvious initial spark. My basic advice is to just make sure you are doing your best to give yourself the best chance you can of having a relationship, and a huge part of that is simply talking to everybody placed in your path. Here is an easy thing to remember: Get to know more people, and get to know people more.

Still, since I am definitely not the best dating-advice-giver at the Board, here are some links to some of Anne, Certainly's dating advice for you:

Board Question #80844

Board Question #79407

Board Question #79501

Board Question #77657

Now for the second point.  Yes, you should do all you can to actively date and meet new people, but also, don't feel bad about yourself if the blessings don't come immediately.  Never let the fact that a blessing doesn't come as soon as you had hoped allow you to feel unworthy.  If you are striving to keep the commandments, repenting when you make mistakes, and trying to see your blessings fulfilled, you have no reason to believe that any blessings are being withheld from you.  In fact, you shouldn't allow these things to reflect on your perception of yourself at all.  It doesn't mean that you are a less incredible person, or that you are any less loved by God.

Honestly, this is where trusting in God comes into play.  Because at the end of the day, all we can do is just that: all we can do.  And the rest is up to God. Trust in His promised blessings, but also trust in the timing of those blessings.  He loves you and knows what is best for you. Good luck with everything!

Love,

Vienna

Question #81003 posted on 02/18/2015 11:26 p.m.
Q:

Dear archives,

If a list of historically significant questions were to be compiled, what are a few of the questions that might be included?

May I suggest Board Question #47628 for starters?

-General

A:

Dear General,

After looking through the thousands, and thousands of questions asked and answered by the 100 Hour Board since it went online in 1998, I, along with the help of many others, have compiled a list for you. Needless to say, this is certainly not a comprehensive list. I am sure you could get a better list during reunion week next month.  

First, I would like to direct you to the popular questions link on the left, where you will find the most popular questions of all time! Including The Widest Book in the Library, the Corner Hobo, the Great Recycling Myth, and the Best and Worst Things About Each President, among others. 

Along with that, I would also suggest the Editor's Choice link. 

Less easy to find ones, but historical and memorable, nonetheless, include:

  • Board Question #37225: The very first question posted on the website. 
  • Board Question #50462: Fish-washing—in which HFAC cook salmon, and other things, in a dishwasher. 
  • Board Question #49414: Liver Cleansing—in which HFAC cleanse their livers.
  • Board Question #55631: The Mad Limerist—in which Hobbes and Marzipan defeat the insane rhyming abilities of mysterious vaudeville poet.
  • Board Question #54078: In which every board writer confesses the truth—we are all Matt Meese. 
  • Board Question #71909: Which demonstrates the infamous quoting capabilities of MSJ. 
  • Board Question #73839: The 100 Hour Board: The Return of CATS.
  • Board Question #55069: In which all 100 Typing Monkeys introduce themselves.
  • Board Question #43429: The Battle of the Majors. 
  • Board Question #43468 and #77583: Board Trading Cards. 
  • Board Question #38913: The 100 Hour Board: Horror Movie.
  • Board Question #14600: Katya's booklist.
  • Board Question #60332: A complete count of all of the door knobs on campus.
  • Board Question #38724: The Battle of the Library Security Guards.
  • Board Question #34094: While it does not comprise the entire debate, herein lies the Great Modesty Debate of 2007.
  • Board Question #2366: In which all of the stairs on campus are counted. 
  • Board Question #65639: How much it would cost to buy the Twelve Days of Christmas.
  • Board Question #58366: How to write the most excellent of all board questions. 
  • Board Question #10655: The best bathrooms on campus. 
  • Board Question #8959: What I believe to be Katya's very first, official, board answer.
  • The Great R-Rated Movie Debate

Interesting board facts/statistically important questions 

  • Board Question #69406: The readers who have asked the most questions.
  • Board Question #54984: This one could probably do with some updating, but it is a list of all writers who got married to each other as of 2009.
  • Board Question #56883: A list of other historic questions, but these ones are historic for statistical purposes.
  • Board Question #68008: A list of the board questions with the most answers.
  • Board Question #71118: The longest board question ever, coming in at a grand total of 11,155 characters. 
  • Board Question #70269: Where old writers are now...er, I mean two years ago. 
  • Board Question #67537: An analysis of board writer life spans. 
Almost every dating application of a board writer, ever 
Lists of other questions that might be historic
  • Board Question #44406: A comprehensive list of "short stories" writers have written over the years. 
  • Board Question #73793: Questions that influenced the lives of the writers who wrote them.
  • Board Question #51712: A list of ten HFAC questions. 
  • Board Question #21556: Really funny, and really old board questions. 
  • Board Question #57795: A list of favorite questions answered by some older writers. 

Sincerely,
The Soulful Ginger  

posted on 02/24/2015 3:31 p.m.
Dear Soulful Ginger,

Thanks for the shout out! My first ever question as a writer was actually Board Question #8200 ( http://theboard.byu.edu/questions/8200/ ), but it's hard to find in the archives because I didn't actually sign it as "Katya."

- Katya
Question #80966 posted on 02/18/2015 11:20 a.m.
Q:

Hey 100 hour board,

What is marriage like? How do you figure out how you want your marriage to be like if you didn't have good examples growing up? What's the day to day or marriage? What are the struggles? How do you figure out what it will be before you get married? How do you trust someone to never leave you if you get fat/ugly/hard times come? Or how do you trust they won't leave you after they are successful? So many things to think about!

-GULP

A:

Dear FISH,

What is marriage like?

Awesome, that's what it's like. But it's not awesome just because I'm married. It's awesome because of who I'm married to. That's the key, I think. Too many people are so obsessed with just getting married that I think they rush into something that is a lot more work than they're expecting. Done right, with the right person, it leads to incredible happiness. My wife and I share good times, hard times, and even some times when we don't get along. It's not easy, but it is wonderful.

How do you figure out how you want your marriage to be like if you didn't have good examples growing up?

Find some good examples somewhere. Don't listen to people who want to limit you and your options. Shoot for the stars--it isn't unrealistic to expect a wonderful marriage, no matter what anyone says. The Gospel is a wonderful place to find expectations for your marriage. Look at the marriages of many of the General Authorities (Thomas S. Monson, Richard G. Scott, and Gordon B. Hinckley come to mind immediately.)

What's the day to day or marriage?

Well, it's different for everyone, of course. For me, it consists of waking up, family prayer (if we remember), going to school or work, desperately missing my wife and baby all day until I get home, and then spending as much quality time with them as I can before going to bed and starting all over again. I can't tell you how comforting it is to have someone with whom I can be absolutely, 100% myself all the time. We have a grand old time.

What are the struggles?

Listen, the biggest things that make a marriage successful are communication and putting the other person's needs above your own. Sometimes it's really hard to understand your spouse's needs and other times it's really hard to fulfill them, especially when you have your own needs. What you have to do is trust them to give of themselves as much as you give of yourself. That way, both of you are taken care of. Madam Insomniac and I have a pretty conflict-free marriage, but it's really hard work sometimes.

How do you figure out what it will be before you get married?

Hahaha. You don't. Seriously. It's like nothing you've ever imagined. (That counts double for having a baby, by the way.) The thing is that marriage isn't the be-all-end-all. After you (an imperfect person) marry your imperfect spouse, you both will continue to learn and grow afterward. It's a game of constant change.

How do you trust someone to never leave you if you get fat/ugly/hard times come? Or how do you trust they won't leave you after they are successful?

Trust is the cornerstone of any relationship, especially marriage. Trust comes from understanding. Understanding comes from honesty. You need to be completely honest in your relationship if you want to get anywhere and you need to expect complete honesty from your spouse. Be prepared for a lot of talking about feelings. It's good for you. Try to grow to really understand your potential spouse before you take the plunge, because people can seriously surprise you.

Good luck! It's not as scary as it seems, trust me. You find the right person and treat them the right way, with trust and understanding. If they reciprocate, it's a good sign that they're capable of the kind of dedication it takes to make a marriage work.

It's a lot of work. Don't fool yourself into thinking anything different. But it's celestial work. It's the kind of work that lets you look back with satisfaction at what you've accomplished and look forward with excitement for what's to come.

-Inverse Insomniac

Question #80955 posted on 02/06/2015 1:38 p.m.
Q:

Hey,

Usually, for the standardised format of my ongoing question posts, the question would be on the top line, but I don't really know what I'm asking, so...


~ { context } ~

I find it incredibly surprising how a limited array -- theboard.byu.edu/about/current -- could answer such an expansive range of questions, especially ones with graphs, or charts -- theboard.byu.edu/questions/80592 --

or highly specific question -- theboard.byu.edu/questions/80616/ -- that would take me a week to a month, given other things to do, and I still won't be able to answer the question. Then again, I just realised right now that those active likely includes PhDs, and other graduate students. (side note: they should open it up to those that graduated, but that's all policies)

So I guess my curiosity is,

How in the world do you do it?
What's the recommended generalistic research path to finding an answer?
How do you answer so many questions... (aka: why is your brain so big?)
AND within such a short time span?
What's the success rate of answering questions within deadline?
Do all the actives ever meet in person? (i.e. q&a party? cos you should!)

So... I don't really have any specific questions, so free feel to advise however you see best =)


~ { question meta-data } ~

* question goal -- Fulfilling A Wonder (which thereby leads to life being boring cause wonder has been diminished to none)

* challenge level --

0 Even A Baby Could Do It! 0 | =>> 1 What A Kicker! <<= 1 | 2 Wow, Really? 2

* topical chart -- Research > Productivity > Knowledge


~ AMBW (A More Beautiful World)

A:

Dear Gaea,

Calling people can also be a quick way to get information. I think a lot of people would be surprised at how useful and painless making a phone call can be. I can sometimes answer a question in under 10 minutes that way.

As far as graphs and charts go, the data collection can definitely be tedious. But actually making the graphs and charts can be as easy as pie with Excel and other more sophisticated data visualization tools.

The highly specific question you mentioned? I don't know exactly how long it took to post, but I know that finding the actual answer took less than a day. It took longer to find two writers to meet together than it did to walk down to Special Collections, talk to the people there, and take pictures of the book. If Tally hadn't given us the tip about Special Collections, we might not have had such success, but it still wouldn't have taken a PhD.

Like Tally M. said, we do it with Google and with the contacts around us. We're naturally investigative, and it helps to be part of such a tight-knit and information-packed place as BYU. I definitely see searching out answers as something I do not only because of this responsibility, but also because I find it fun. Some people spend time, I don't know, knitting or watching cat videos or browsing Pinterest, but I use that time for my weird hobby called the Board. (Granted, we do watch our fair share of cat videos here, but I was having a hard time coming up with examples. Here's a better picture about what we'd do with our time otherwise.)

"What's the recommended generalistic research path to finding an answer?" Hmmm ... Good question. It sounds like you're asking about finding resources for fact-based answers (as opposed to relationship/opinion/funny/whatever answers, which can still require their own kind of research), so I'm going to address that. I'm kind of uncomfortable numbering these or calling them "steps" because in reality, I just go in whatever order I feel will help get the answer the quickest or most accurately. I included some examples from my own answers so you might be able to see how this looks in real-life applications. Here are some recommendations I have for finding answers:

  • Know the answer off the top of your head because you had a class about it, read about it, watched a documentary about it, heard a podcast about it, or were otherwise exposed to the information. Keep your eyes and ears open all the time—when you know you could be called upon at any time to answer random questions, you start to get good at collecting bits here and there. You may still want to employ some of the following research steps, though, to make sure you're remembering correctly and getting all sides of the problem. This is what I did for Board Question #75692, which asked about a book I had read when I was little. I had to search a bit for the actual title, but I knew pretty well what the reader was asking about.
  • Remember where you heard it but forget what exactly the answer was. Turn back to your original source (class notes, your mom, a bookmarked page, YouTube, the Board archives, etc.) to find the answer. I pulled out a textbook from one of my linguistics classes to refresh my memory when answering Board Question #78304.
  • Remember topic-specific resources to turn to first. For example, if it's a question about a word's etymology, I look up the Oxford English Dictionary before going to Google. Some other fun places for facts include Y Facts, the World Factbook, the Corpus of Contemporary American English, the Notable Names Database, and WolframAlpha. I used that last resource to determine the average age of people named Bertha for Board Question #80564.
  • Perform a preliminary Google search. Use words in the question and good Google technique. For me, the most common tricks at this stage include quotes and site-specific search. If a Wikipedia page isn't one of your top results, you might want to look it up specifically in Wikipedia as well. Follow the trails of links that you come across. As in Board Question #77723 and Board Question #80050, sometimes the answer is just the first hit.
  • Search the archives. There are quite a few questions that have been asked more than once. You just have to be careful about using outdated information, but the archives can at least give you a good starting point. As I mentioned in Board Question #74032, we should totally have a theme song for every time we direct someone to the archives.
  • Do an in-depth internet-based search. Pull out things like advanced search and Google Scholar, or do something drastic like view the second page of results. I'm pretty sure I used this for answering Board Question #72127 about names.
    • Don't forget about online academic library resources. Search the HBLL website in general or turn to the subject guides to narrow it down a bit. Try chatting with a librarian online to ask for a good place to start.
    • When you do find an article or other helpful source, look at its citations to see if you can look those up for even more information.
  • Go to the library! Go to the help desk of the appropriate field and ask them for resources. They may also recommend professors or other people to reach out to. I checked out a few books concerning ancient Spartan society to answer Board Question #72319.
  • Make a phone call/email/post/message/personal visit. The tricky part with this, I guess, is knowing who to call. Keep your eyes open for contact information when you're doing the above steps. As a Board writer, I pay particular attention to BYU events and resources that I think will come in handy for someone. Also, think about family members, friends, colleagues, ward members, anybody around you that might have some special knowledge in this area. Even if they don't know the answer, they should be able to point you somewhere you might not have considered before. Don't neglect specific physical centers of information. Libraries, community centers, forums, clubs, organizations, etc. can all be great niches to investigate, and those people are particularly enthusiastic to help out. I talked to a family history TA in the Family History Lab here at BYU to answer Board Question #72705.
  • Make your best educated guess. After all the things you've looked at by now, it's probably been at least 100 hours. Try linking to a picture of a cookie, or ask the reader to resubmit with more information. We also need to acknowledge that, while we're surrounded by a lot of brains here at BYU, we can't pester all our professors with a bunch of random questions, so it's a good idea to explain the reader the efforts that you took so they get an idea of where to look or not look themselves.

Sometimes questions involve primary research. In that case, you can either use the methods above to find your data, turn to your friends to conduct surveys, acquire resources to perform an experiment, use boss programming skills to compile data from the interwebs—carry out whatever your research question calls for. Attempt to make good use of the scientific method, but again recognize your limitations and give a ballpark result if necessary.

Once you have your sources, you just compare all the information you have, judge the research, summarize your findings, insert relevant quotes and figures, acknowledge limitations, and cite your sources. (Judging the legitimacy of the research may be the most difficult part. The Research and Writing Center in the HBLL, a library workshop, or this Research Starter Guide can give you some more information about that. Also, a decent background in statistics and research methods can't hurt.)

That covers most of it. There are other things we do for more unique questions, but that's the general path. Looking back on it now, I pretty much do any one of these things, but I always include Google in there somewhere. It's always a good idea to pair anything you do with Google to make sure you're not missing some really good, easy-to-find additional information.

-Owlet

Question #80922 posted on 02/04/2015 12:56 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Are the current apostles and First Presidency living longer than the apostles and First Presidency 50 years ago? Or 100 years ago? It seems that lifespans in the US have gotten longer over time so I wondered how that affected the leaders of the Church. Has the age when the prophet passes away changed much over time?

-fangirls for Tally M. (but anyone can answer this)

A:

Dear Fangirls,

I put together a spreadsheet of all the apostles' lifespans, and this is the scatter plot that came out:

Apostolic Life Expectancy.png

  • The dotted red line is the line of best fit, an average of ages across the years.
  • Each blue dot is an apostle.
  • The yellow dots are those who became prophets.
  • The red dots are those who were murdered.
  • The yellow dot with a red outline is Joseph Smith, who both became a prophet and was murdered.
  • President Monson and other living apostles are excluded from this plot, since they don't yet have an age at death.

According to the numbers, the life expectancy of apostles and prophets has increased by about 0.16 per year. Therefore, if you were born in 1900, you were likely to live about 1.6 years longer than someone born in 1890. I included the "murdered" variable because I thought that a high number of martyrdoms in the early years of the Church might skew the data. Fortunately, there were fewer of those than I had anticipated. I have good news, guys: the likelihood of apostles and prophets meeting their deaths at the hands of vengeful mobs has decreased dramatically since the early 1800s.

Yours, &c.

Heidi Book

Question #80825 posted on 02/03/2015 10:12 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I have a confession...I really like reading self-help books on dating. I suppose it makes me feel like I'm doing something to progress towards marriage, but I know that sitting alone in my bedroom reading a book isn't actually going to help me get married. So my question is, what are some things that I can be doing that WILL improve my marriage prospects? I've got lots of free time and I'd like to think at least some of my time is going towards something more productive than watching every episode of every show on Netflix.

-Single and ready

A:

Dear you,

One of the biggest things that I think you can do to improve your marriage prospects is doing what you can to meet people and go on dates. That's kind of obvious, but I'm going to expand on it below. I took this as a chance to consolidate a fair amount of dating advice into one question, so some of this isn't directly relevant to your inquiry (and you may not need it) but hopefully it'll help someone out there.

The Anne, Certainly Guide to Revolutionizing Your Dating Life

(Oooh, that's a really pretentious name for a guide. This one better be good). 

0. GPS Searching for Signal, or, Figuring Out Where You Are

I think that it's easy to feel like we don't know where to go because we the advice we read doesn't necessarily seem to reflect what's happening to us right now. Before you can have a hope at deciding which way to turn at the next intersection you reach, you have absolutely got to know where you are compared to where you are trying to get. In thinking about this question, I've realized there are (at least) three important areas of self-reflection: understanding your mental/emotional state, understanding your spiritual state, and understanding your current approach to dating. 

  • Your mental/emotional state: As I discussed in my Life Changing Summer Answer, the way you view yourself makes a huge difference in dating. Take a few minutes to reflect. Do you honestly believe that you are desirable? Do you believe that someone would be fortunate to date you? Do you believe that dating someone is going to solve certain problems in your life? What problems? Taking a few minutes to sit down and analyze your thought patterns can help you understand why you're acting in certain ways and what things it might be helpful to change.
  • Your spiritual state: This is closely related to your mental and emotional state. I firmly believe that dating (although totally fun sometimes and well worth the effort) can be really difficult and is something God wants to help us with. Do you remember that God loves you, even when the dating is rough? Do you continue to pray for courage to put yourself in the right situations? Do you act on promptings to do simple things like helping others, talking to them, etc? God will help you. Are you putting yourself in a situation where that's possible?
  • Your current approach to dating: What are you doing right now on the dating front? Are you flirting with a lot of guys? Are you flirting with one guy? Have you given up? If you're feeling really cynical, why is that, and what can you do to restore your hope?
1. Route Analyzing, or, Determining Where You're Headed
 
I am still realizing the wisdom of the Young Women's adviser who warned us as high schoolers that you marry the people you date. For many BYU students, even if they're not planning on marriage immediately, it's an end goal. That's important. That means you need to start considering right now how and who you're going to date. Fortunately for us, we actually do have a large degree of control over who we fall in love with. That does mean, though, that we need to be careful about the choices we make about dating. If you've decided that a temple marriage is a requirement for you (a standard I strongly endorse) then think about at least 3 things:
  1. What do I need to do to achieve this goal?
  2. What do the people I date need to do to achieve this goal?
  3. How should we date in order to achieve this goal?
I encourage writing things down because it helps us process and gives us a record of where we were. Man, Certainly and I actually have some written stuff from early in our relationship when we were having discussions about how things would need to function if we were going to be able to date successfully. So, sit down and write these out. This will give you something to look back at as you date and will hold you accountable for both the things that you do and the things you might be tempted to justify in others and in relationships with them.
 
2. Getting Started, or, What Has To Happen If I Want to Get Married?
 
There are obviously a lot of things that have to happen if we want to get married. This answer is obviously a simplification. However, once you've figured out where you are and where you want to get, it is time to:
 
Take Action: Get Off The Board (After Reading This Answer) And Talk To A Human
Okay. We all know that the odds of us getting asked out by people we've never met are pretty low. That means that the number of people you date is going to be bounded by the number of people you know.
  • For you extroverts, getting off Netflix and going out with some friends may be easy: make sure that you also take time to go to events where you don't know people and where you have an opportunity to meet people of the opposite gender who you could see again.
  • For the introverts, I know this is harder. I think a lot of people think I'm an extrovert, but I'm actually somewhere in the middle of the I-E scale. With the understanding that I have some empathy, here are some thoughts on getting to know people:
    • Go to things: sometimes you don't want to do this. It is often more difficult to make yourself vulnerable to boredom, casual rejection, or awkwardness at an activity in your new ward, a club meeting where you don't know people, or the random party your roommate invited you to come to with her. For introverts, realize that sometimes going to these things isn't something you do because it's immediately enjoyable, it's something you do as part of a longer-term investment with potentially amazing returns.
    • When you get there, find a place where you're comfortable enough to be yourself. This might somewhat limit the activities you go to (for example, I'd be uncomfortable at a rave in a club, probably even at the side along the wall. That's fine.) Find the corner with a person you know, the food table where there are just a few people casually chatting instead of dancing all crazy in a huge group, etc.
    • Say something. This can be hard, but it's critical. Sometimes other people are shy too. Taking the first step by making an offhand comment to someone  - "I like your shoes." "Is that a [fandom] shirt? I love that [book/movie]!" "So, which cupcakes here are the best?" - gives them the chance to start talking to you without feeling like they're being weird. If they give you a monosyllabic answer, you can totally ditch out and try someone else, but a lot of people will like that you're asking for their opinion, complimenting them, or otherwise showing interest in their existence and will start a conversation.
    • Get - and remember - people's names. When you meet that new guy/girl in the ward, try to remember who s/he is. This probably goes without saying.
    • Remember next time you see them that you've already started building a relationship. If you had a great conversation at the ward mixer last week, they remember it too! You don't need to act or feel like you're starting from ground zero the next time you talk to them. 
Find and Identify Humans You Like
 
This is one area where I think dating in college can vary pretty significantly from the way we understood it when we were younger. Back in middle school it was "Who do you have a crush on?" In college, there have been times for me where that wasn't a name - it was a list. And you know what? That's totally great. After all, diversification in a competitive market can lead to some solid returns. 
 
Key to this process is having reasonable expectations for what a new relationship is like. Now, I am not suggesting that we start dating guys who are clearly beneath our standards. I am suggesting that we remember that beginning relationships (and that's lowercase r relationships including acquaintanceships and friendships as well as dating relationships) is very often awkward. Even inviting a friend of the same gender to hang out for the first time is stressful, because what if they don't think you're as cool as you think they are? Remember this. Don't compare new relationships that are still dealing with the kinks with the rock-solid ones you've had for years or decades (or even a semester or two.) It's easy to count out a guy/girl because there were a few minutes of awkward silence in the conversation or a joke went flat. To this I say: try, try again. Give it some time.
 
This idea of meeting people and getting to know them is one of the most important things I think people need to understand about dating. It's really easy to surround ourselves with a small group of people we already know and don't consider as dating prospects and then not meet anyone to actually date. To this, I have two points of advice:
  1. People who say you shouldn't date your friends are wrong. You guys know me. I don't make a ton of categorical statements. However, the idea that dating your friends is somehow an inherently terrible plan is dumb. You want to date someone you're friends with. For an elaboration of this, see this answer. People who think they can only date their friends are also wrong. Take a chance! I'm not recommending anything unsafe, but don't feel like you can't start to flirt with a guy you don't know very well. I was vaguely aware of Man, Certainly before we started dating, but I became more aware of him when I noticed he was cute and added him to my general list of guys to flirt with (that makes me sound like a terrible person. Hey, it's well-established that I play the field when I'm single. It works for me.)
  2. Find Places to Be Friends with People. If you're going to date someone, they're presumably going to become your friend at some point. To this end, you need to be in places and doing things where you can meet people you'll be interested in. Join clubs! Go to ward choir! Do that weekly ward service project! Talk to someone about starting a study group in your class (that just happens to include that cute guy/girl). Meet your co-workers. I cannot express enough the importance of meeting people in dating! Anyone you think you could potentially be interested in, talk to and get to know! This is the some of the specific advice I'd give to you, reader: find things to attend that you enjoy doing and find other people who enjoy doing them too. That's a great place to start, and even if you don't find anyone you'll still have fun.
Go On A Date With A Human You Like
 
Obviously, this is a lot easier said than done. Fortunately, I have already published the Anne, Certainly Date-Getting Flirtation Method as well as the Anne, Certainly Guide to Having a Positive Date Experience (and some tips on dealing with physical flirtation). I'm guessing from your question that you're a girl, but if you're a guy, feel free to submit follow-up questions, because I'm happy to give more specific advice for that as well.
 
4. Re-routing is Okay, or, Don't Give Up
 
Remember that as Hannah Montana wisely informed us, "everybody has those days." Sometimes the guy turns you down. Sometimes the girl tells you she just wants to be friends. Sometimes you have to break up with someone and it's really awkward. Like Taylor Swift tells us, we need to shake it off. As the wisdom of Jimmy Eat World reminds us, "It just takes some time, little girl you're in the middle of the ride. Everything, everything will be just fine. Everything, everything will be alright." You may be noticing a pattern. This is a totally universal thing. Even the people who appear to have it totally under wraps struggle. Don't give up. Keep at it and get back on the horse.

Things probably won't work out perfectly the first time. That is totally fine. I had been on dates with something like a dozen guys before I kissed anyone. I was up to something like 20 before I had a relationship that lasted a significant amount of time. It's a bit of a numbers game, and that can be discouraging at times. Just try to remember that continuing to try will have benefits: possible relationships, new friendships, strengthening your character (Man, Certainly's really into that whole character-building thing... he's trying to convince me,) learning about what you want in the future, and being blessed for making efforts to achieve a good thing. It might feel like you protect yourself from pain by not hoping for anything and not acting like you're trying for anything, but if you don't hope for good things, you are letting yourself down. 

5. It's Okay If You Don't Have an ETA, or, Don't Insist on Seeing the End from the Beginning

We don't know how our lives will go yet. Some of us (Anne, Certainly) can be control freaks, but learning to take joy in the fact that God is the one who is in charge. Give yourself time to listen and learn and decide what's working without feeling like everything has to happen (or not happen) right now. Reflect on what's happening to you and whether it is good. If not, what could make it better? If it is, have you taken time to be grateful and find ways to make it even better? 

Be grateful for the good things about where you are, and trust that if you follow God, He will in time take you somewhere even better. He'll give you ideas for what you should be doing if you ask Him for them with a determination to do them. You can do it. 

Love,

~Anne, Certainly

Question #80717 posted on 01/22/2015 4:02 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why do baby towels have hoods? Is this actually a helpful feature or just a way to make you buy a new towel when you have a baby?

-Wah

A:

Dear Waluigi,

Let me demonstrate with a chart, based on my exhaustive research of this subject.

Drying.png

As you can no doubt see, in most clinical trials, hooded towels were consistently rated about 85 centi-teddies more snuggly than non-hooded towels for babies. The results were statistically significant (p<.05) and hoodedness accounted for about 82 percent of the variance in snuggability in our sample group (N=3,792).

-Inverse Insomniac

Citation: Meyerhoffer, Klaus. 2015. Snuggability and baby towels: What's up in the hood? Journal of Quantifying Baby Opinions 14(Summer): 410-563.

Question #80643 posted on 01/20/2015 12:56 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I have a Tinder account. My problem is when I come across a relatively good friend of mine that I'm not really interested in, but I feel like I have to acknowledge that I saw them. What's the proper etiquette for seeing friends (mostly those you aren't interested in) in Tinder?

-Left Swiper

A:

Dear swiper stop swiping,

IN  CONGRESS, waaaaay after  JULY 4, 1776.

The Unanimous Declaration of the thirteen emotional States of Ardilla

WHEN in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one person to dissolve the social stigma which has heretofore prevented him with connecting with Another and to assume among the powers of The Worldwide Web, the separate and equal station to which a certain Social Network's Terms of Agreement entitle him, a decent respect to the opinions of womankind requires that he should declare the causes which impel him to the association.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the fruitless Pursuit of Relationships. That to secure these rights, dating websites are instituted among men and women, deriving their just powers from the common consent and frequenting of their users — That, whenever any Form of Online Interaction seems to be more alluring than its contemporaries, it is the Right of the Single People to investigate it closely, and to institute membership, laying their justification in vague principles and leveraging its powers in ways as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety, Happiness and general amusement. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Dating Habits long entrenched should not be changed for light and transient causes, and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer the evils of dating while these are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of unreturned calls and friendzonings, incurred while pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Denigration, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Habits, and to provide new strategies for their future relationship security — Such has been the patient sufferance of this Writer; and such is now the necessity which constrains him to alter his former Methods of Dating. The history of the present Dating Records is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations by disinterested Parties, all having in direct object the establishment of a dating stagnation over this Campus. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

She has refused her Assent to Dates, the most wholesome and necessary for the public approval of a given relationship.

She has forbidden her roommates and close friends to associate with him, suspending normal societal conversational norms until her Assent to the contrary should be so obtained, and whenever this decision is appealed she has utterly neglected to attend to it. 

She has refused other Affections for the accommodation of interest from other random people who Don't Even Go Here,

She has convened conversations to Define the Lack of a Relationship at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from matters of the heart for the sole purpose of fatiguing him into compliance with her measures.

She has dissolved men's resolutions to not be wimps repeatedly, for deflecting with womanly firmness their attempts to merely say hello in public places,

She has disappeared for a long time, after decisions towards missionary-service related relocations, to cause men to despaire whereby they, incapable of the Annihilation of their affections, have returned to the gyms at large for their exercise to blow off some steam; their emotions remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

She has endeavoured to prevent the population of the local dating pool with new individuals, for that purpose refusing to encourage them to sign a contract within a league of his residence, and effectively prevent their migrations hither.

She has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing to stop dating Tools and establishing proof of a modicum of Good Judgement.

She has made men dependent on her Will alone for the tenure of their relationships, and the amount and payment of any surfeit of their salary forfeited regularly in the hope of maintaining these.

She has erected a multitude of New Heritage Buildings, and sent hither swarms of Freshmen to harass our people and eat out their substances in lunch dates that will go nowhere.

She has kept among us, in times of what would otherwise be peace, ward prayers without the Consent of our ever having said we even wanted to have one, for surely reposing instead on the ottoman during a cold Sabbath evening is no great Sin. 

She has through her unreciprocated emotions affected to render men in favor of giving up and joining the Military for at least their Basic Training squad leader will Remember Their Name,

She has combined with others to subject us to judgments foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our Man Laws merely because we apparently did not text back quickly enough even though she knew us to be engaged in a particularly intense bout of Halo,

For quartering large bodies of Instagram photos among us,

For protecting them, by a veritable array of Pinterest pages unbearable even to visit for their pages replete with Bedazzled things and Recipes so Cutesy and visually complex in their Presentation only a Professional Pastry Chef could Actually Make Them,

For cutting off our Trade of Pokemon with other parts of the world:

For imposing purges of our favorite old T-shirts without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the Benefit of the Doubt:

For transporting us beyond the doors of her parents' homes to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the use of Plain English in daily conversations, establishing therein Arbitrary meanings to voice inflections and pauses; and expecting sideways glances and other nigh-imperceptible movements to be accepted examples of fit instruments to convey encyclopedic amounts of information instantaneously.

For eating our Lucky Charms, abolishing our most valued gaming systems and altering fundamentally the Compositions of our Closets:

For suspending our own food preferences when deciding where we should Eat Out, and declaring herself invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever while we are Using the Restroom.

She has abdicated from the throne of reason by dating men she met scarcely two weeks ago, waging emotional War against us and any notion of hope for reasonable accomodation of romantic interest we harbored in our naive hearts.

She has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our pixelated people by obliviating deliberately the file of our favorite Minecraft world because she deemed it a Waste of Time,

She is at this time suggesting we Date her Friend who She Promises is Finally Over Her Ex even though previously falling for this diversion has resulted in dates so long, awkward and filled with venomous diatribes we wish large Armies of foreign Mercenaries would end and compleat our miserable evenings with whatever work of death, desolation, or tyranny strikes their fancy provided it terminates the circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages in which we now find ourselves embroiled, for which release we would gladly trade our position as the Head of a prosperous and civilized nation.

She has constrained our fellow Brothers taken Captive in relationships to bear Advice against their Comrades, to become the self-decreed custodians and executioners of their friends and Brethren's dating lives during innumerable Holiday Conversations by inquiring if they are Dating Anyone Yet and deeming the reply unsatisfactory subsequently offering unsolicited and unwelcome Profound Relationship Wisdom, causing these same annoyed Brethren to consequently desire to strangle them with their Bare Hands.

She has excited domestic insurrections amongst us by flirting shamelessly with us and our roommates while maintaining she is Dating Someone, and has thusly endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our apartments, the merciless plague of jealousy whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages and conditions of emotional stability.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Princess, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a once free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our feminine friends. We have warned them from time to time that attempts by their constituents to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us are most unwelcome. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here in Provo. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common Facebook friends to disavow these usurpations, which do incessantly interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of common sense. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of womankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

I, therefore, a citizen of the united States of America, in General Congress with all aliases heretofore created, unprovoked, appealing to the general kindliness of the world for the rectitude of my intentions, do, in my 'Nym, and by Authority granted by my street cred with the good Peasants of Provo, solemnly publish and declare, That this writer is, and of Right ought to be Free to Independently decide to join Tinder, and that he is absolved of all social stigma that would prevent him from doing so, and that as a Free and Independent Participant has full Power to swipe Left, swipe Right, establish Communication and the untaxed Commerce of Emoji, contract Alliances, establish Relationships, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent Persons may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, despite a sneaking fear that this is probably but a more efficient vehicle for further emotional Trauma and Heartbreak, we mutually pledge to Give it At Least A Fair Shot out of respect for our Lives, Fortunes, and sacred Honor.

TL;DR: I joined Tinder (Tally M. facilitating this by the use of her smartphone and know-how). You know, for science. Wherefore upon joining this Citizen did discover the proper etiquette upon encountering a Friend with whom you do not wish to engage in courtship is to swipe rapidly in the sinistral direction, this being less deceitful, more honest, and ultimately more kind. 

--Ardilla Feroz, Ardillas Friendzoned, Flirtroz, Fur-roz, Fluteroz, Frozen, Fayoz, Fearmonger, Functionista, Preblessed, Broke, Brain, Totally Unhelpful, Volador, the Hun, Armadillo Fuzz, Sasparilla Rush, Arbitrary Buzz, Rosquilla Schnozz, Esquilo Feroz, Ques-ardilla, Lizard Loafer, Flailed Razor, Afar Dill Zero, Lizard Florae, A Razor Filled, Zaire Far Doll, Ladle Razor If Lard Ail Fez Or Lazed Friar Lo Ordeal La Friz, Razed Oaf Rill, Dial Razor Elf, Areal Old Friz, Farad Zero Ill, Rodilla Tenaz, Zeal Friar Old, Leaf Razor Lid, Deaf Razor Ill, Floral Lira Zed, La Razor Filed, A Lizard Elf Or, Ren Xiao Lei, Lard Laze Fro I, Earl La Do Friz, Area Doll Friz, Afar Doze Rill, Lead Oral Friz, Razed Floral I, Lizard Earl Of Far All Id Zero, Aid Razor Fell Dial Razor Elf, Adze Fair Roll, Air La Lord Fez, Raze La Old Fir, Far Roar Zed I 

Question #80616 posted on 01/22/2015 10:32 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,


What is the smallest (width * height * depth) book in the Harold B. Lee Library?

I have searched somewhat on my own, but I believe that the skills of the Board far outstrip my own for these sorts of tasks.


-V. J. M. (Yes, the very same one)

A:

Dear V.J.M.,

Challenge Accepted!

As you probably know, the library has close to five million books,and 98 miles of shelves. Needless to say, I was daunted. Nonetheless, I set out to find what you seek. At first, I expected a long and arduous trek through the miles and miles of stacks. I started on the second floor, and found hope in these "Very Short Introduction" books. They are about 4" tall, 3" wide, and .25" thick. I felt sure that I was on the right track.

I have never been so wrong before.

IMG_0517.JPG\

I scoured the 2nd floor and found nothing else, and hopelessness began to overtake me. As I prepared myself for many more hours of this tedious work, a missive came that was like manna from heaven. Tally M. had sent me a covert tip:  "Look in Special Collections," she told me. Now, I had heard of this place, "Special Collections." I knew it was a place of wonders, and secrets, and it lay exceedingly close to the lair of our great enemies the tunnel worms. (I suspect they control Special Collections to some extent). So with great trepidation I prepared to enter into that cave of caves; that wonder of wonders. Thankfully, as I prepared to journey into the netherlands, I encountered Owlet who joined me in my searching. Together we infiltrated the depths of Special collections...

IMG_0537.JPG 

...Well we tried to infiltrate the depths of Special Collections. At the entrance, we face two surprisingly helpful guards. After speaking with them, we gleaned a great deal of information concerning the smallest book in the library. Apparently, in addition to having a small book collection, containing over twenty cases of tiny books, the library has a copy of The Smallest Bible in the World, which is a microfiche that is smaller than your fingertip. However, we decided we were more interested in the books they had in hard copy. After some goading, cajoling, and threatening, we managed to convince them to bring us their smallest book. Here is what we were shown. 

IMG_0530.JPG

IMG_0531.JPG

This was the biggest book they brought out to us. It easily fit in the palm of my hand 

IMG_0524.JPG

And here is the smallest we found. Wise Kwaks is 2 cm long, 1.5 cm wide, and .25 cm thick. 

IMG_0525.JPG

IMG_0532.JPG

It even had jokes on the inside.

IMG_0534.JPG

We were forced to flee from Special Collections shortly thereafter, as the real enemy had discovered our whereabouts. While we were able to get the necessary photos and measurements, we were unable to find out what Grace is when she overeats. 

As I write this answer, I am forced to ponder on Grace and the things she eats. Why does she eat so much? Does she not know what happens to her when she overeats? Doesn't she know that she needs to save some of that food for the starving children in Africa? What am I when I overeat?

These are the questions that keep me up at night, but I hope you will be able to sleep, now that you have this information. 

Challenge completed.

Sincerely,
The Soulful Ginger and Owlet  

posted on 08/16/2018 10:43 a.m.
There is yet a smaller book in the vaults of Special Collections... it is the 1974 knjiga. It is 10 pages long and it is 4x4 MILLIMETERS. That is a .16 inches by .16 inches. TEENY!

Here's the library record:
https://search.lib.byu.edu/byu/record/lee.2073094?holding=x7r7mubyxc6donii

Here's a link to an auction for a copy a few years back so you can see a pic:
https://www.pbagalleries.com/view-auctions/catalog/id/408/lot/128865/
Question #80592 posted on 01/19/2015 2:32 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'm seeking some help for emotional issues and anxiety. I've found two campus resources to help with this: the Counseling and Psychological Services in the Wilk and the Comprehensive Clinic across the street. What are the differences between these two services? I'm not really sure where to go.

Thanks for being someone I can ask without being afraid!

"Diane"

A:

Dear Diane,

Both Counseling and Psychological Services (known as CAPS or the Counseling Center) and the Comprehensive Clinic are great resources for therapy. Here's a quick comparison table to help you make the decision. 

 

CAPS

Comprehensive Clinic

Therapists

Mostly students working towards their PhD in Counseling Psychology, some faculty (licensed psychologists) as well.

Mostly students working towards their PhD in Clinical Psychology, or graduate degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy or Social Work.

Services available

Individual therapy, couples therapy, group therapy, biofeedback lab

Individual therapy, couples/family therapy, group therapy, psychological assessments

Eligibility for services

Must be a BYU student taking ¾ time credits, however waivers are available for those taking fewer credits due to mental health reasons, or if it is your last semester at BYU. For couples therapy, at least one spouse must fit the eligibility requirements above.

Anyone

Cost

All services are free

Individual therapy is free for BYU students, otherwise it is $15/session for individual or couples/family therapy, $15 one time payment for participation in a group, $50 for psychological assessments, $400 for neuropsychological assessments

Group Therapy

This semester, groups are available for general process (everyone brings different issues to work on), as well as the following specialized groups: autism spectrum, couples, chronic pain and illness, eating disorders, generalized anxiety disorder, OCD, meditation/mindfulness, sexual concerns, stress management, trauma recovery and empowerment, and video game addiction.

This semester, there are groups for coping with depression, premarital topics, and cancer support. The Comprehensive Clinic also typically offers general process groups, parenting groups, and other marriage-related or divorce adjustment groups.  

Intake Process

Fill out intake paperwork online, then call to schedule an in-person intake. The counselor you are scheduled an intake with will be your counselor moving forward unless you request a transfer.

Call to schedule a phone intake. Phone intakes are conducted with an intake worker, who will either give you a referral to services in the community or forward your case to a counselor at the Comprehensive Clinic, who will contact you to schedule a first appointment.

A few final words: It is important to note that all student therapists are closely supervised and are essentially working under the license of their licensed psychologist supervisor. Although people are often a little apprehensive about having a therapist who is a student rather than a licensed professional, outcome research has shown that graduate student therapists can be just as (if not more) effective in their therapy than licensed psychologists. This is probably at least in part because student therapists tend to be a little more humble about trying something new if current therapy isn't working, as well as the fact that student therapists discuss their cases with their supervisors and have additional frequent opportunities to consult with colleagues, meaning they are actually less likely to miss something important and have the advantage of drawing upon the expertise of many professionals for each case they see. However, if you're set on seeing a faculty member, you can make that request. Just be aware that you will probably have to wait longer for an intake and have a lower frequency of sessions if you decide to see a faculty member, as they are much busier and their schedules are less flexible. You should also not be afraid to switch therapists if the one you are initially scheduled with (at either location) doesn't seem like a good fit for you. 

-Divya

Question #80522 posted on 01/12/2015 5:02 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'm not able to fathom how two people can remain in love for eternity. Marriage seems so beyond awkward. What do you talk about when you've talked about everything you can think of? What do you do when you run out of ideas for dates and activities? I guess it's because I'm leaving one of my first relationships because I couldn't seem to get the conversation flowing and I felt like we were talking about the same things all the time that I'm feeling like I can never commit to someone for eternity. I also have social anxiety (medically diagnosed), and it's really difficult for me to be around people I feel awkward with. I've had countless panic attacks over it. Basically I just want to know if I'll ever be able to find someone that I'll be able to feel comfortable with and to talk to for the rest of eternity because it's really not seeming like it right now. I'm perfectly fine with having a few cats and living on my own.

-Painfully Introverted

A:

Dear you,

A few thoughts:

1. On talking with someone you've been with for a long time

I'm obviously not qualified to talk about eternity, not having been in an eternal relationship (or even one that gets close). However, I have been dating Man, Certainly for a significant time period. Here are some things I've learned (with recognition of the fact that he is quieter than I am):

  • Sometimes you don't have to talk as much. I think there's a lot of value to having a relationship where you reach the point that you can feel comfortable in each other's silence.
  • If you think about the relationships that you're comfortable in (with family and friends) I'm betting that a lot of the conversations you have aren't super deep, though some probably are. You aren't spending all of your time having deeply scintillating conversation; a lot of the time you just exist around each other. You talk about the things that happen that day, the things you heard about in the news or from friends, etc. We sometimes have different expectations for how conversations will go when we're in social situations (we need to be Having Conversation!) whereas with those we're comfortable with we don't necessarily see that same need.
  • There are things you can do to encourage conversations between people who don't know each other as well or feel as comfortable yet. One thing my boyfriend and I do is play "truth or truth". It's a pretty self-explanatory variation of truth or dare. Basically, we just ask each other questions. Some questions are deeper, some are less deep. In general when we play question games like this we stay away from simply repeating each other's questions (My favorite color is blue. What's yours?). Alternating questions can be a useful device for keeping conversation going because both people get to think of what they'd like to get the other person's opinions or views on and learn about each other.
  • It takes time to get to know someone. Don't cut someone off too early just because conversation doesn't flow effortlessly from the beginning. There are some people we have very good initial conversational chemistry with and some people with whom it can take a while to break the ice. There are people other than Man, Certainly, who it's been easier for me to start a conversational relationship with, but that doesn't mean that taking longer to get it with him hasn't been worthwhile and rewarding. Don't stick around forever if you can't get what you need, but I don't think that initial awkwardness that gradually fades but occasionally resurfaces over time should necessarily be fatal.
Finally, remember that you're going to keep having lives. There will always be things happening to both you and your SO. Forever and ever, things will keep happening. As we learn and grow, we can find lots of new topics of conversation if we look.

2. On being in love with someone forever

This I won't go into in depth, since I'm obviously not qualified to discuss being in love forever (because I obviously haven't). However, I will share something I have been learning that I shared with a roommate last night.

I think falling in love can be like walking down stairs in the dark. You move down a step and you're like "Yep, that's one step more attached to this person." At some point, you think you've reached the bottom of the stairs, and you're like "Yep, I'm in love." Then, you put out your foot to take the next step forward and there's actually another stair. And then there's another stair. Being in love is not binary; it's a matter of degree. If it was just that we "fall in love" and then have to maintain that static state for eternity, I agree that the concept would be quite worrisome. What I think is helpful is to remember that you learn and grow together and that there is always another step.

~Anne, Certainly

Question #80395 posted on 01/03/2015 10:38 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

An oft asked question but one which the writers may have more thoughts to share on: how can I be happy when I'm single when I really want to be married?

The only time I've gotten close to happy with my single status was when I didn't have a crush on anyone and that is not currently the case. How can I be happy when I want to be cuddled with and told I'm pretty by a husband instead of my female friends? How can I be happy when I really crave romance and physical and verbal affection? I would like to be really, truly adored by a spouse. And yet, I am single. Is this God's way of saying I'm not good enough yet? Am I not allowed to get married until I'm more charitable? Until my mental health is better (I'm in counseling already)? Is it the world's way of punishing me for not being an interesting enough person? For not being pretty enough? For not being nice enough or social enough? How can I be happy not knowing when this will end? Not knowing when God will send someone that likes me and I like back (that's actually a member/an option)? I could be alone for years for all I know. And I really don't want that. It makes it harder to plan my life as well.

Thanks,
unhappily single this holiday season

A:

Dear Donna,

Let me first clear something up for you. I personally believe that in most instances, circumstances are not created by God for us to learn lessons. He can help us to learn lessons, but He's not necessarily holding off marriage until you get better at whatever you think you need to get better at. Granted, there may be some cases in which this is true, but I'm not so certain that it's all of the time. That being said, that doesn't mean you can't learn lessons in the meantime. In my opinion, you should always be preparing for marriage, even when you don't know when it'll come. 

I think it's ridiculous to assume that because you aren't married yet, it means you aren't good enough. It's a way of thinking that is incredibly negative. I live in an apartment of six wonderful girls and all of us are good enough for marriage. And yet, all of us are single, most of us without prospects for marriage. It's so much nicer to pretend that it's because we aren't ready yet. Then it's our fault. It's easier to believe. So how do we be happy when it probably isn't entirely our fault? 

To be absolutely honest, I have no clue. I could've written this question and there was a part of me that wanted to. I do have some tactics that work temporarily.

First of all, don't write your love story before it starts. What I mean by that is that you shouldn't try and plan out every possible scenario with a guy before anything actually happens. When it comes to the beginning stages of a relationship, you often need to live in the moment. Otherwise, when you're away, you start constructing scenarios in which your relationship advances, and then when you are actually with that person, you're depressed that your relationship isn't where you thought it was. Along these lines, take a page from Hitch's book: there are no basic principles. I was talking to Concorde earlier this week and said, "Everyone's love story is different. There's no rules, no plan. And yet we all try and construct rules and plans to try and figure out the system. We never will. One day it'll happen to us, and we'll try to explain how our story fits in the system, but deep down, we know that it won't because there is no such thing." Don't worry about whether you're doing things that fit what you think the pattern is.

The above thoughts are mostly related to the beginning stages of relationships, which, while you're single, can be really stressful because they give you hope. They give you hope that you aren't going to be stuck single forever, that the pain you're feeling might be relieved. And then, inevitably, you're disappointed with the results.

When this happens, live your life as if there are no guys in your future. Make your plans as if you're not going to be dating someone in four months. Focus on extracurriculars or hobbies that you find enjoyment in. Find ways to progress in other areas of your life. Commiserate with your roommates occasionally and indulge yourself in a chick flick marathon when you watch four in a row while doing homework on a Saturday. It is all right to be sad about being single. Let me repeat: IT IS OKAY TO BE SAD ABOUT BEING SINGLE. IT IS OKAY TO WANT TO BE MARRIED MORE THAN YOU WANT TO BE SINGLE. You aren't going to be happy about your single status all of the time, and that's perfectly fine. But you also can't be miserable about it all of the time. Indulge the sorrow once in awhile, as long as you get back up and carry on with your life. Don't begrudge the happiness of the other couples, because you don't know how many of them were in exactly the same position you were in.

I don't know when this will end for you, nor when this will end for me. But in the meantime, let's be the super awesome people we both are, and eventually a couple of guys will realize they won't want to let us slip out of their lives.

-Tally M.

Question #80272 posted on 12/14/2014 12:08 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

so I saw a website the other day that listed 72 places you could get a student discount

I'm not sure if you can put web addresses in a question but if you can here it is
http://www.puckermob.com/entertainment/70-things-you-can-score-with-your-student-id#close

Some of those things are common knowledge (for example, Amazon Prime). And I'm pretty sure I've heard about a discount at Banana Republic, but honestly even with 15% off, I'm still a poor college kid who can't afford it, so I've never tried it out.

I am guessing some of those are not actually true, like 10% off at McDonald's, or perhaps only true at a specific location, because if these are legit discounts, how come nobody knows about them? Or am I just out of the loop?

Have you tried getting discounts from any of those places listed and had it work? Any recommendations? or favorite places in general (not necessarily on that list) to get a student discount?

Thanks
-college student

A:

Dear College Student,

I was able to verify the following student discounts with the company's website. All of the others listed on that website were not listed on their company's. However, that doesn't necessarily mean they don't exist, they probably just don't advertise the. On that note though, it was made abundantly clear by the McDonald's website that they do not have a student discount currently. 

  1. Amazon Prime
  2. Spotify
  3. Supercuts—I could not verify if this is true outside of the UK
  4. New York Times Subscription
  5. Metropolitan Opera in NYC 
  6. The Economist
  7. Wall Street Journal
  8. Rail Europe
  9. Eastern Mountain Sports 
  10. J. Crew 
  11. Madewell
  12. Sam's Club—with the purchase of a membership
  13. ASOS
  14. Banana Republic 
  15. The Limited
  16. Buffalo Wild Wings—Sunday nights only 
  17. Apple
  18. Radio Shack
  19. Amtrak
  20. Ann Taylor
  21. Adobe 
  22. Microsoft
  23. Sprint
  24. Allstate—Good Student Discount
  25. General Motors
  26. Fenway park 
  27. Art Institute of Chicago
  28. FedEx 
  29. JoAnn Fabrics
  30. Coast London 
  31. Alex and Ani
  32. Club Monaco
  33. Norton Protection Software
  34. Dairy Queen—by location
  35. Moo.com
  36. Greyhound 

Of those listed, I have only used the Amazon Prime Discount and the Met Discount. They are quite nice to have. I have also taken advantage of Student Rush Broadway tickets, which is awesome. I never paid more then $40 to see a Broadway play. Also, it seems that PuckerMob has updated their list with links for the student discounts.  

Sincerely,
The Soulful Ginger  

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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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-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