Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open. -John Barrymore
Question #47539 posted on 09/22/2008 3:02 a.m.

To the writers who aren't me-

So, I was listening to everyone's favorite geographically-savvy indie artist the other day, and a silly thought crossed my mind: as a geography major, could I potentially do a thesis project "assessing the geographical, cultural, and historical veracity of Sufjan Stevens albums"?

When first this thought appeared, I laughed. But since then, it has continued to pester me; wouldn't that be really interesting (at least to some of us)? How accurate, in-depth, and recognizable to natives are all of his place references ("Illinoise" and Michigan, specifically), anyway? Could this possibly fly with professors? Is there another way I could restate my purpose to make it more defensible or interesting? I, personally, think it would be fascinating and a lot of fun. Anybody?


A: Dear Foreman,

Personally I think this would be more appropriate for an anthropology project, but by all means, go for it if you can, and send me a copy if you write it.

A: Dear Foreman,

As a Sufjan Stevens fan who served his mission in Detroit, I think there is definitely enough material on the Michigan album to assess cultural and historical aspects of the lyrics. For example, "Romulus" captures quite well the "white trash" (sorry, a kinder term escapes me) culture and family life of the southern suburbs, and "Detroit, Lift Up Your Weary Head" stirs in me a montage of memories of places and attitudes I saw in the Great Lakes State. As far as geography goes, however, you can't really use one of his songs to draw a map. In the end, I have to agree with Whistler--this sounds like a great anthropology project, but passing it off as geography would be a stretch.

--Gray Ghost
A: Dear Foreman,

A student who graduated from my program a couple years ago wrote his doctoral dissertation on independent music in Detroit. Your idea sounds comparable.

-Humble Master
A: Dear Broseph,

You know how much I endorse linking music to pretty much everything. But I'm going to say what's been said: you're not going into geography with this project; you're going into culture, which just smacks of anthropology.


Cool idea, though.

A: Dear Foreman,

It doesn't have to be anthropology, cultural studies or even pop culture studies are happily found in humanities departments in many universities. Now, simply studying the geographical references might not be enough for a professor, but studying the accuracy of those references, the interpretation of those places within the work, the presentation of those places to locals and non-locals in the work may work for your professors.

-Humble Master
Question #47538 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Regarding Proposition 8, I heard someone who was in California last week say that "in some stakes Church leaders have asked the singles and all families to donate $2000 a piece to the cause."

I don't live in California or have any family there...I know that the Church has asked members to support the proposition, but does anyone know if requests for specific amounts of money are really being made? Also, is there a specific entity the money is to be donated to?

- Thank you

A: Dear person~

From Tangerine, whose parents are currently participating in a phone campaign regarding Prop 8:
So, my dad's only response to this question was, "I think that question was written by a gay rights activist."

Umm.... I'm not sure what to make of that response. Maybe I can get a better one out of him later?


Deciding that might not be enough evidence against that rumor you heard, I talked to my friend, allaryin, who lives near San Diego.
me: Question about California
You have a second?
allaryin: i might
me: It's a little bulky, so I'm emailing it
allaryin: but you must realize that i hate california
me: It's for the website I write for
If you know anything about it, lemme know
allaryin: which email did you send to? gmail?
me: Yeah
allaryin: k
umm, no.
me: Heh
That's what I thought
allaryin: there has been discussion
there has been mobilization of people
there have been requests to donate
but donations have been accepted outside of church
and no specific amounts have been requested
me: Cool

So I think your friend is incorrect. Also, such a thing is way out of character for the Church, anyway.

Question #47536 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Should I close my Washington Mutual accounts and go elsewhere? I have my savings there because the interest rates are the highest I can find, but I'm worried that WaMu is doomed to fail soon.

- Might run on the bank

A: Dear runner,

I did. I just thought that Wells Fargo was more convenient for most of the checking/credit card needs that I have. And while I left a chunk of money in my WaMu savings account (for the exact same reason you mentioned. They do have a relatively high savings rate), they were charging me unexpected fees to keep my money there, so I eventually decided that it was not worth it to get the extra decimal point worth of savings. I moved it to a USAA account (got it through my parents insurance). So it's just sitting there happy as a clam, forgotten till you mentioned it.

- Rating Pending (who thinks that It's a Wonderful Life is the best run-on-the-bank movie ever)
A: Dear Bank Jogger,

Huh, I just did the exact opposite of Rating Pending. I finally extracted myself from Wells Fargo (long story, lots of not-unbiased opinions, suffice it to say: never again), now I bank out of WaMU and a credit union back home.

Washington Mutual (like most major banks) is FDIC insured. This means that the first $100,000 you have in checking and savings is insured by the national government. If you have more than that, I would recommend putting it to use somewhere else. (I'm sure the Board could use a couple thou every now and then...)

When all is said and done, the most important element of banking is your comfort level. Put your money where you feel it is best for you.

There may be gold and jade to fill a hall
But there is none who can keep them. (IX,5-6)

Question #47534 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Women have gyno's, to men have the equivilent?

- curious

A: Dear curious,

Probably the closest thing would be a urologist. In men, the urinary tract and the external genetalia/reproductive organs have some overlap. Ask your buddy or your mom or your local anatomy text book and they'll go into the details for you.

- Rating Pending (whose first thought was "proctologist" but just because he just saw a commercial about getting your prostate examined)
A: Dear curious,

There actually is a branch of medicine called "andrology," which focuses on male reproductive issues, but female reproduction is a more complicated process, so it's a larger field.

- Katya
Question #47533 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

On TV they have the commercial for the Glade candles. They say the candles are made with essential oils. My question is what are these essential oils,why are they so essential, and what are they essential for?

-No candles

A: Dear why on earth not?,

The oils in Glade candles, as it turns out, will increase your IQ, eliminate most genetic disorders, and make your children far better looking than their peers.

Essential, indeed!

I would buy that candle.

Alas, the term essential as used in "essential oils" is definition number 3: "containing an essence of a plant." Essence...essential...savvy? What the commercials mean is that the oils used to help create the scents of Glade candles are concentrated aromatic plant oils. Here's a pretty big list of oils that could fit the bill.

The cool part is that this marketing approach works on multiple levels. Those who know what essential oils means think, "Hey, aromatherapy! Great!" And the rest of the people think, "Hey! Essential! That means I've gotta have it! IT IS TIME TO PURCHASE GLADE CANDLES NOW"

Be the former. Not the latter.

Question #47530 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What do I do if I have roommates I can't get along with?

- Swimmerchick

A: Dear Swimmerchick,

Pray a lot, serve them, and get over yourself. It works. Promise.

A: Dear Swimmerchick,

habiba's right, but I know that sometimes it is your roommates who refuse to get along with you. You may have to grin and bear it. And spend as much time away from your apartment as possible.

--Gray Ghost
A: Dear Swimchick,

I woke up earlier and went to bed earlier than my not so easy to get along with roommate (not usually by choice, but it worked). Just don't sit and try to find things that annoy you about your roommates or you will drive yourself crazy. Live your life and let them live theirs. Most likely you all will be so busy in another month (hopefully) most of it will just all go away. Or you'll get used to it.

- steen
A: Dear Ethel,

Passive-aggressively hide her cassette tape with "I'll Build You A Rainbow" recorded over and over in a never-ending loop. Your tranquility levels will rise considerably.

But I guess if you meant "What do I do to increase roommate harmony" then my previous suggestion isn't the answer (and hopefully not even a potential answer). I learned with one roommate that we had very different ways of showing love. She loved a clean kitchen, I was obsessed about having a clean bathroom. She'd clean the kitchen and I'd clean the bathroom and we'd both complain that we did so much for the other that went unappreciated. As soon as we figured out that our efforts mattered to us and not the other person, I started doing dishes and tidying up the kitchen more and she was more careful not to leave stuff all over on the bathroom counters. It really helped our relationship because we were going out of our way to do something that didn't mean a lot to us, but meant a lot to the other person.

-Polly Esther
Question #47529 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Do any of you have a recommendation for a good Web-based bookmark manager? My mom is a genealogy teacher who bounces around to a handful of family history centers. She has collected the URLs for what seems like a million geneology sites, and she wants to able to organize and tote them around with her electronically so she can have them on hand to help people taking her classes without having to reprint a new hard copy each time she adds new URLs to her list. We've thought about having her type them in a text or Word doc and saving it to her flash drive, but that puts her at the mercy of each computer she uses and the software it has. I heard there were Web sites that allow users to store and access bookmarks, but the few I've looked at seem kind of...transient. Thanks in advance to anyone who might have a suggestion...also, a simple, uncluttered version will help her most. Thanks again.

- non technie

A: Dear non ~

If she's happy with doing it in Word, I would suggest using Google Docs. Then she'd have access to them anywhere she has internet access.

~ Dragon Lady
A: Dear non-techie,

Another option is to set it up as a blog and give the URL to her students. That way they can check the blog and have any updates, too. (Don't get stuck on the idea that a blog has to be a journal or a diary; she can make one post with hyperlinks and continually edit that post, to keep it simple.)

- Katya
A: Dear non techie,

Delicious (formerly del.icio.us) is one of the most popular bookmark organizers out there. It lets you put your bookmarks online and organize them with tags, along with allowing you to enter a description of each bookmark. It's been around since 2003 and has more than five million users. It also has a social aspect, which you can pretty much ignore if you want.

It's pretty simple to create new bookmarks and manage them. When I signed up for an account it took just a few minutes, and the layout is pretty intuitive for me. The default is for your bookmarks to be public, though you can make them private as well if you'd like. Your mom could organize and access her links from anywhere, and her students could see them as well.

You can learn more about Delicious either on their website or on their Wikipedia entry.

—Laser Jock
Question #47528 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

During Conference why do the Apostle's wives sit on the stand with the other Auxiliary Presidencies?
Is it some sort of symbol or is it out of respect? There has got to be a reason why they sit up there. It just dosn't seem to be for curteousy sake...

A: Dear Ethel,

I am told by my Church sources that it's because they have room on the stand. I'm glad they do, I think it's really cute when they all walk out arm-in-arm with their wives after conference sessions.

-Polly Esther
Question #47527 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

My guy was unworthy to serve a mission at the appropriate age but has since repented. He is 20 now, and I believe that he would have been an extraordinary missionary and that learning from his mistakes has changed him for the better. So two questions:

1) I want to marry him. I've prayed about marrying him and everything feels right. Is it bad that I want to marry a guy who didn't go on a mission for a reason like that? Should I be getting a "yes" answer when these are the circumstances? Am i misinterpreting the answers to my prayers?

2) His patriarchal blessing includes a lot about a mission. I know he could still go until he's 25, if he's approved. But if we get married soon he can't go on a mission anymore, right? Would that part of his patriarchal blessing mean he will still have the chance to go as a senior missionary and/or serve a mission during the millennium?

Any other advice you have for me would be appreciated as well...

- hopes this question doesn't give too much away about his identity... maybe there are more guys that fit this description than I think?

A: Dear waaaaaaay more than you might think, yeah~

1) I want to marry him. I've prayed about marrying him and everything feels right. Is it bad that I want to marry a guy who didn't go on a mission for a reason like that? Should I be getting a "yes" answer when these are the circumstances? Am i misinterpreting the answers to my prayers?

Hoo boy, is that ever a loaded question. No, it is not "bad" that you want to marry a guy who was willing to admit and deal with his sins. Never in your life will you meet someone who is worthy of their own power and wisdom, you will only ever meet repentant or unrepentant sinners.

I appreciate that your situation is a little unique, but it's not as different as you seem to perceive it. All worthy young men are called to serve missions, if able. You have here a worthy young man who is well within the age range (and, I assume, ability) to serve. He should go on a mission.

Also, forgive me, but I get really skeptical about people receiving answers to questions of romance. This is probably my mistake, but it's so dang easy to use your strong loving feelings for this chap to convince yourself that God sanctions your marriage even if the answer you receive is one of divine indifference (or even possibly a no). However, I don't know you, I don't know the situation, so I can't really judge what's going on there.

2) His patriarchal blessing includes a lot about a mission. I know he could still go until he's 25, if he's approved. But if we get married soon he can't go on a mission anymore, right? Would that part of his patriarchal blessing mean he will still have the chance to go as a senior missionary and/or serve a mission during the millennium?

Yes, it could mean that. However, you can use precisely the same logic to argue that your "yes" answer means for you to marry him after he has served a full-time mission.

A mission will inevitably benefit this guy and his future marriage. If he chooses not to serve a mission, he is giving up an irreplaceable blessing. You may still have a happy and healthy eternal companionship, but he would be doing so at an enormous cost that, personally, I don't see as being necessary.

It's not my place to tell you what to do, because I have no authority to receive revelation on your behalf. This is really a question for your bishop, your father, and obviously to be discussed with the young man in question.

If you were my friend coming to me with this question, I would also add that I would support you either way, and that still more or less holds. If you decide to marry the guy, don't look back, don't beat yourself up over it, and just live the happy life you both need.

I think I'm rambling at this point. Hopefully another writer will jump in here and correct me.

A: Dear Nope, He's the Only One, Ever:

Should I be getting a 'yes' answer when these are the circumstances?

I think God is infinitely more broad in his wisdom and deep in his compassion than we often give him credit for. When it comes to matters divine, there's no predetermined "should:" you might get answers that don't fit into your preconceived box of how things should be, but God will never lead someone astray. There is plenty of scripture to back me up on this. It seems rather presumptuous to dictate to one's Heavenly Father what he "should" or "shouldn't" say--and only you have the ability to discern what is true revelation, and what is lovey-dovey neuron firing.

His patriarchal blessing includes a lot about a mission. I know he could still go until he's 25, if he's approved. But if we get married soon he can't go on a mission anymore, right? Would that part of his patriarchal blessing mean he will still have the chance to go as a senior missionary and/or serve a mission during the millennium?

Ummmmm yeah. No kickin' it old school these days. He marries you, can't go on the traditional full-time (non-senior) mission. I think people are way too literal/nitpicky in their interpretations of their patriarchal blessings. Besides, that's his issue, not yours.

I agree with Hobbes that he would probably be best served by going on a mission, at this point. Both of you seem very young, and I think you could stand to date around a bit, too.

Here I go, sounding like my mother. Good luck: remember, the mission issue is ultimately his decision. If he does decide to go, he could use a supportive friend (no, that does not mean idolizing Elder-worshipper!), I'm sure.

A: Dear hopes,

I guess I'll add my voice as a third witness regarding your second question. Patriarchal blessings aren't magic prophecies that have to come true no matter what; it's also up to the person blessed to live a life worthy of the blessings and events promised.

- Katya
Question #47526 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Do Professors have the right to ban laptop usage in their classes?

William Wallace

A: William Wallace,

According to the BYU Employee Handbook
The Utah Code provides the authority for institutions of higher education in the state to enforce regulations governing the conduct of students. The university has authority to enforce rules and regulations in any reasonable manner, including the imposition of probation, suspension, or expulsion from the institution, the revocation of privileges, the refusal to issue certificates, degrees, and diplomas, through judicial process or any reasonable combination of these alternatives. Utah Code Annotated 53B-3-103.
So yes, if a professor feels that laptops present a disruptive influence on the educational process, they may freely ban them.

TINMAN with many thanks to Yellow
Question #47523 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

How do you define "boyfriend"?

A: Dear girl,

Once the two of you decide that you are only going to date each other, I'd say he's your boyfriend. I've heard minor variations on this, but most people seem to agree.

—Laser Jock
A: Dear XX,

A Y chromosome is hopefully going to be involved.

- Furious George
A: Dear reader,

Dating exclusively, but not (yet) engaged.

- Katya
A: Dear Ethel,

I think a Facebook relationship status update is definitely involved.

-Polly Esther
Question #47522 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

When I was a Mia Maid, they had an activity where they went and tried on wedding dresses. My mother was (understandably) appalled and forbade me from attending.

Looking back, I think it was bizarre, and don't really see what purpose it served. What do you think? Anyone else's ward do something similarly strange?


A: Dear,

Actually, my ward did that, too. Strange. I suppose it was to get us excited about getting married in the temple, and thinking that modest wedding dresses could be gorgeous. Or something. Really, it was just a bunch of girls trying on pretty dresses, which girls tend to love to do.

-Uffish Thought
A: Dear Portia,

I don't really see anything wrong with it. I could see a group of girls doing it just for kicks and giggles so I don't think it is a big deal. I know that in my ward they've never done anything like that but part of it is due to the fact that there were no shops with modest wedding dresses where I lived. However, there would be times where the leaders would plan random little activities (bowling, shopping, movies) that had nothing to do with Young Women. I've always thought that it was a nice way to help encourage the young women to do things together...

Question #47519 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Why do buses run their engines all the time?

I really want to know. What clear "value" do they gain by running their engines all the time and what is the cost / benefit ratio as compared to turning them off while waiting?

Couldn't the country save a ton of money / gas and reduce emissions just by getting bus drivers to turn their engines off?

- Tired of walking by smelly buses parked on the side of the road on the way to work!

A: Dear tired,

Interestingly enough, it turns out that the reasons most people give for letting a diesel engine idle are myths. I ran into an article on BusBuilding.com that got an explanation from Mike Meloche, Senior Reliabilt Sales Manager for Detroit Diesel. Apparently many drivers leave their engines running to keep the air conditioning or heat in the cab working; however, your engine will stay warmer if you shut it off, and your AC won't stay cool at low idle either. His recommendation? "We have always recommended that if the engine is going to be idling, low idle, longer than five minutes, that it be shut off."

Another experienced diesel enthusiast quoted on the site, Clarke Echols, adds an explanation of why idling is counterproductive:
Diesels pull a full gulp of air on every intake stroke. They have no throttle butterfly like gas engines to restrict air flow for idling. They just change the amount of fuel being fed into the injectors to control speed/torque. If the engine isn’t working hard, it gets a smidgen of fuel, not enough to maintain block temperature, and the intake air is like a big blast of refrigerating (cool) air, especially if the turbo isn’t spinning at full compression. Thus the engine cools to below its design operating temperature and you get the high wear factors again.
He goes into more detail about the "high wear factors" in the full writeup. As for fuel consumption, he gives the estimate of a gallon of fuel per hour to idle an engine (though this depends on the engine).

So yes, you're right: diesel operators shouldn't idle their engines for more than about five minutes, and the reasons they typically give are bogus. It's enough of a habit for many, though, that you won't see it changing too quickly.

—Laser Jock
Question #47517 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear Hobbes,

Who is your favorite Russian author?

- Goldfish Girl

A: Dear Goldfish Girl~

Easily Alexander Pushkin. I read Eugene Onegin last Summer and I was hooked for life.

Just now, in fact, I'm reading his works in the original Russian, and I see why the rooskies are so crazy about the guy, too.

In second place comes Fyodor Dostoevsky for Crime and Punishment, which was 80% boring as sin, and 20% incredible philosophy and character development.

~Hobbes wishes he were in Petersburg again
A: Dear Goldfish Girl,

Hobbes isn't the only one with an interest in Russian literature! Even though you didn't ask, I thought you'd like to know, at the moment my favorite Russian author is Nabokov. Lermontov is up there in the top ten.

Question #47513 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What is whYriot? I'm curious as heck.

Here's a lead:

- Not rioting

A: Dear not rioting,

For our readers, according to a google video, 300 freshman at a dance received roses and ended up going to the baseball stadium late at night and signing up to be part of "whYriot," whilst authoritative figures in black with black masks explained what to do. At a football game, the whYriot flag was run across the stadium (supposedly, it was a rather grainy video).

I did some Googling and I was able to trace one of the blog posts back to a certain individual (different from CPM's). I asked him what he know about whYriot and this was his reply:
They are nuts about BYU. Fanatically so. I just got pulled out of the campus dance about two weeks about more or less and before I knew it I was running to the baseball fields with about 300 other people and then I was signing up to be in this group. You really never know when they're going to contact you, but there's always something going on, and its usually something pretty awesome. I actually started a blog about it if you want to check it out, I'm kind of compiling everything I know about whYriot, as well as links to what it is more or less.
I tend to agree with CPM's opinion below: whYriot seems like a gimick - like it's trying to make people feel a part of something big without having them actually do anything. Whatever it is, it was clever enough to make me a little curious about it.

A: Dear not,

Whatever it is, it is something officially being run by BYU, apparently to hype up excitement about.... something. My evidence for this is that the domain whyriot.com is registered to Adam Parker, the BYU Licensing and Trademark Manager, and the listed contact information on the Domain is his official BYU contact information.

So, it's not clear what their purpose is yet; but based on the tedious 2 minutes of video I watched it looks rather... sophomoric. In my experience when Official Organizations attempt to make a cool, secretive underground movement it generally fails. But, [shrug], I guess we'll see. Maybe they're actually putting together a really great viral marketing campaign about something, but I'd be skeptical.

-Curious Physics Minor
A: Dear not rioting,

The organizers have taken pretty great lengths to keep it on the down low. If I told you, I'd have to kill you, or they'd kill me. Seriously.

Actually, "they" have no comment. I don't blame them, it would kind of defeat the purpose. Don't fret, the truth will be revealed eventually.

A: Dear NR,

I decided to contact Mr. Parker, the person who CPM found had registered the whyriot.com domain. It turns out that he just buys the domains for BYU; he referred me to someone else for more information about the website. As it turned out, that person was the same one that habiba talked to (who declined to comment), so the trail died there. I think it'll be entertaining to see how they finally reveal whatever they're up to, personally, but for now I'm not worrying too much about whYriot.

—Laser Jock
Question #47510 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How come in movies, the dead mummy's mouth is always open? Is it because the person died screaming or just because it has no muscles to keep the mouth shut? If that's the case, then is everyone who is buried have an open jaw?

-Your Mummy

A: Dear Mum,

The Wikipedia article on cadavers says that most embalmers "suture the jaw together to keep it from hanging open." My guess is that all dead bodies go slack-jawed due to the fact that their jaw muscles are no longer controlled and/or are decaying. Gravity gets the better of the jawbone and pulls it down. Think about when you're sleeping or really zoning out. What's one of the first muscles to go when you don't intentionally keep it contracted? Your jaw. That's why we oh-so-attractively drool on the desk in the middle of a thrilling lecture on the essentials of medieval basketry. It makes sense to me that after rigor mortis ends (about 72 hours after death) that the jaw muscles would go totally lax.

Question #47509 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

When you're fishing, and a hook goes thru the fish's lip, does it hurt the fish? It seems pretty cruel but then someone told me that they can't feel it...

-Fish out of water

A: Dear Floppy,

Recent research suggests that fish do indeed feel pain in their mouths and lips.

Question #47508 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why are they called Ice Cream Sundays? Sunday is supposed to be good for your health in the long term, yet ice cream is most definitely not.

- Pudge

A: Dear Pudge,

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, no one really knows how sundaes got their name. Two common stories involve sundaes using leftover ice cream (that would've had to have been sold cheaply on Monday if not consumed on Sunday), or sundaes only being sold on Sunday originally.

Personally, I think that they were so named because they, like Sundays, are good for the soul.

A: Dear Old Mother Dismass,

Modern Marvels Ice Cream Edition on the History channel a few weeks ago favored this story and said that the spelling was changed to "sundae" in respect of the Lord's day. Another story that they featured about the history of ice cream sundaes can be found on wikipedia.

A: Dear Pudge,

Is it an abuse of my omniscience to offer you congratulations regarding a certain event? No? Then congrats!

- Katya
Question #47507 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Due the democaratic republic that I live in, how likley is it going to matter or make a difference if a vote for a presidential canidate other than McCain in the great state of Utah.

Has Utah ever been a 'BLUE' state?

- Kristin Anne

A: Dear Kristin,

According to this website, Utah last voted presidentially "blue" in 1964, to re-elect Lyndon B. Johnson over Barry Goldwater.

- Katya
A: Dear Kristin Anne~

It is sad that the United States of America has a relatively high level of disproportionality in their vote, but with all due respect to an intelligent and good-looking reader, I'm getting incredibly sick of hearing this as an excuse for voter apathy.

First of all, a Republican could use the exact same logic you just used to stay home on election day. If Utah is going to vote red, why do they need my red vote?

They need your red vote, Mr. Republican, because what Utah needs is a greater number of people to get over their laziness and vote Republican than those who get over their laziness and vote Democrat. That's how it's always going to be, even if we get rid of the Electoral College.

I think Americans have a myth in their minds that Independents decide elections. Until very recently, that theory was dead wrong. The party that wins the election is the party that successfully gets their own voters off their piles of apathy and lethargy and into the voting booths. (2006 was something of an anomaly in this, and the Independents really did play an important role.)

Listen, I understand how you feel. I feel like my usually-Republican vote frequently gets lost in the sea of red. Furthermore, I am pretty sure Utah will vote Republican in the presidential race. I am equally sure that the reason for that is not only that Utah is generally conservative, but because too many Democrats buy into this same load of garbage that their vote doesn't count and that somehow absolves them from responsibility.

Let me simplify this:

If Democrats continue to stay home on election day because their "vote doesn't count", Democrats will never, ever, ever win an election in Utah.

If Democrats faithfully go to the voting booths and do their part, Democrats might win Utah.

The latter situation increases the Democrats'* chance by a factor of infinity.

*I'm aware you didn't identify yourself as a Democrat. Feel free to insert whatever party you'd like in its place.

A: Kristin Anne,

Mathematically speaking, your vote counts more in Utah under the Electoral College than it would without it. Currently it counts much more than someone's vote in California does. Each state is given the same number of electors as it has Congressional members. Representatives in the House are distributed by number of residents so Utah has 3 for its population of 2,645,330 and California has 53 for its 36,553,215. Each state has a standard 2 Senators, bringing California's total to 55 and nearly doubling Utah's up to 5. When all is said and done your vote 'counts' about 125% of a Californian's.


(Wyomingites rejoice: your vote has about 381% as much punch as a Californian's)
A: Dear Liartes Dragonlord,

Actually, when Utah was vying to become a state, people were "called" by Church leaders to be Republican (that whole needing a two-party system thing- we were lacking it at the beginning).

A: Dear KA:

According to this website, Utah voted "blue" (although this is somewhat anachronistic, since assigning colors to the parties didn't start till the 1980s) in 1896, 1916, 1932, 1936, 1940, 1944, 1948, and 1964. The Democratic candidates were as follows: William Jennings Bryan, Woodrow Wilson*, FDR* (x 4), Harry Truman*, and Lyndon B. Johnson*. Asterisks indicate winners: as you can see, Utah has voted in Democrats, and winners at that, just not the majority of the time. With the Republican party largely abandoning its conservative values (coughtrillionsindebtcough), we'll see how long it takes for the pendulum to swing back, which I think it eventually will (especially if Salt Lake is ever not gerrymandered so blatantly).


Dear girls of the 100 Hour Board,

What is your favorite brand of jeans? Jeans that are so comfortable when you put them on you just want to say ahhhh, because it's like you aren't even wearing pants.

- searching

A: Dear Dios,

The only jeans that even fit me right are Vigoss, so... there you go.

A: Dear s:

In our list of questions in the inbox, we only see the first few words. Thus, I thought your question was "What is your favorite bra?" Ha.

My Express jeans fit me the best.

A: Dear Searching,

I love Gap Jeans. Gap clothes in general seem to fit my body type perfectly, but I don't live close to a Gap at the moment which irks me to no end...

Anyhow, 7 For All Mankind are very, very expensive but I've come across a couple of pairs for cheap and they truly are marvelous. Oh, and I'm also partial to Levi's.

A: Dear searching,

I'm with Buttercup that GAP jeans are great. They fit my body shape the best. I also loooove Maavi jeans. They've got some stretch to them and are sold by waist and inseam. If you're long-legged like me, this is a magical quality in pants.

Question #47504 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

We just bought a house. It's about 15 years old. We moved in 3 weeks ago & over the past weekend the ceiling lights in at least 3 rooms (that we know of at this time) have started to surge. One of the rooms is a bathroom w/ an exhaust fan & the other two are bedrooms w/ ceiling fans; the fans are also effected. The lights & fans will repeatedly and significantly dim for periods of about 3 to 60 seconds. What on earth is going on & do we need to call an electrician or is this something we can tend to ourselves? Thanks!!!

- Trish

A: Dear Trish,

A number of factors could be causing the flickering. For example, my family had a similar problem some years ago, and the cause turned out to be a loose ground connection on an electrical panel. It's difficult to say what's causing your issue, though. Because of the danger in dealing with your wiring, I'd strongly recommend that you contact an electrician and have him fix the problem. It's cheaper than a hospital visit or dying.

—Laser Jock
Question #47502 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'm 17 and I have a hard time shaving. I use an electric razor and I can never get all of the little hairs on my neck. And then even worse, once school is over it looks like I never shaved at all! I hate it! Laser hair removal isn't really an option at my current age, but I do have dark and and fair skin thank goodness! Do you have any suggestions? It's such a frustrating problem for me, and I doubt I'm the only one with an annoying problem.

- Someone who never in their whole life wanted another hair on their head besides the ones on his scalp.

A: Dear Hairy,

You may not like the idea, but the best way to get a smooth-to-the-skin shave is to use an actual razor. Electrics just don't get as close a shave. May I recommend the Mach 3? Of all the brilliant things mankind has done, adding two extra razor blades is pretty much right below penicillin and right above Google.

That's right, Yellow. GOOGLE.

A: Dear never,

I can sympathize with not wanting to deal with facial hair. I agree with Claudio: your best option is to try a safety razor, like the Mach 3 or equivalent. If you really want the best shave possible, and time isn't an issue, an old-fashioned straight razor will give you the best shave possible. It'll take some practice, though, and about 20-30 minutes to shave, so it's probably not what you're looking for.

—Laser Jock
Question #47500 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What does the average college football player get on his ACT/SAT?

- Giovanni Schwartz, who thinks the answer is "drool"

A: Dear Giovanni,

Congratulations, you've just hit a pet peeve. Drool? Really? Come on now friend. You may not be aware that the NCAA has academic eligibility requirements, as does each university. They may not be particularly high, but they do require competency. Just because they can hit hard doesn't mean they don't have brains. It also takes a certain amount of smarts and a quick mind to memorize the plays and read the field. Just being athletic isn't enough.

It's true that some of them aren't exceptional scholars. Think about it, if you were average at one thing and exceptional at another, which would you focus on? I'm guessing you're much better at academics than athletics, and therefore spend more time with scholarly pursuits. Also, some players have coaches who don't put academics very high up on the priority list. Thankfully, Coach Mendenhall is not one of them.

Don't confuse an ego with density. Sometimes athletes get overinflated egos. It's not hard to do when you're the center of praise and glory and have such adrenaline rushes. That doesn't mean they're not intelligent. If you'll pay attention, you'll notice that the really great college football players are more than marginally intelligent. They're also, for the most part, very disciplined.

They don't release the average ACT/SAT scores of college athletes. However, I took a poll of a variety of current and former football players that I know. The average ACT score was a 26, well over average, and definitely more than "drool". Don't be hatin', talent comes in many forms.

Question #47475 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What's the funniest sign that you've ever seen on campus?

-The Frog Princess

A: Dear Frog Princess,

I like the one by the MTC about not writing sappy sidewalk love notes to your missionary.

- Katya
A: The Frog Princess,

Since its arrival on campus, my mind has always connected a somewhat complicated reaction to a rather simplistic and innocent sign.

But first the "rest of the story": one of my roommates is somewhat homophobic. He has repeatedly declared that one of the worst offenses to decency seen around Provo is two (or more) males riding a scooter. His comical righteous fury when seeing this frighteningly common occurrence helped to make "scooter" synonymous with "gay" to all who know him. Thus I would have to say one of the funniest signs I have ever seen on campus is this one:

No Scooters.

A: Dear Cold and Blue Blooded One,


I alone am inactive and reveal no signs.(XX,10)

A: Dear TINMAN (and readers),

That scooter sign is also my favorite. In fact, my freshman year, a sign exactly identical to that one (maybe the very one itself) disappeared late one night. It may have magically appeared on my dorm floor, where it stayed for the remainder of the year, except for when it was carefully concealed during cleaning checks. Don't worry, we put it back at the end of the year. Nobody wanted to try and take it home for the summer.

-a writer, who had a very mischievous freshman year
A: Dear TFP:

SHA posters aren't supposed to be ironically funny . . . yet, they are.

(The huge poster that was in the Wilk about a year ago, that had a ninja and simply said "it's coming" for weeks (before the iContest portion was posted), definitely takes the cake, though. The not-really-funny-as-much-as-creepy cake. Shudder.)

A: Dear Frog Princess,

Ooooh, oooh! I thought of one!! Sorry I came late to play but I've been wracking my brain and then, then, oh, it was so cool, I remembered that the funniest sign is actually still up!

In the hallway outside the ballroom in the Wilk, on the board where they post the Student Service Association things. There is a clean-cut, strong-jawed young man sitting at a table gazing off into the right side of the picture. And it says, "Redefine Service" and "All it takes is the thought." That's it. Just the thought. As opposed to say, oh, some actual service.

- Rating Pending (who feels good because he's thinking of some really good service right now! Look at how helpful he is!)
Question #47474 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I am extremely ignorant about BYU football games, having never been to one. How can I buy tickets for any upcoming BYU home game? If it is too late to buy them from BYU, is there another source I could use?

Thanks a million!


A: Dear Lottie,

You can order tickets to BYU Football games online at http://www.byutickets.com/. They can also be bought in person at the location listed on that website.

Go Cougs!

Question #47469 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

In the field, your mission president decides who your companion will be. Who assigns companions in the MTC?

- Johnny Canoe

A: JC,


A: Dear Johnny Canoe,

According to this blog from some senior missionaries at the MTC in Ghana, the MTC President is the one who assigns companionships.

Question #47463 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

A few years back I read some John W. Campbell's short stories. I'm wanting to say the stories in question were "Twilight and Out of Night, among others. I remember there were some more in the compilations I was reading (one of them was The Best of John W. Campbell, I don't recall the other) that seemed to be part of a larger story arc. What stories are in this series, and what books in the BYU library contain them?

- Don A. Stuart

A: Dear Donny,

I'm afraid the BYU library does not have the most extensive collection of John W. Campbell's short stories. In fact they have only one book of John W. Campbell's science fiction, John W. Campbell Anthology, (you can find it here). Unfortunately, the book was not on the shelf when I went to find it, so hopefully when you go to get it yourself, it will have been located/reshelved/pixied or hobgoblin-ed back into place.

I am not certain that this collection, or really any of his books of short stories have a continuing story-line, as it were. I noted that the anthology referenced has an introduction by Isaac Asimov, another famous writer of science fiction. Asimov's stories (which I have read), are often set in the same futuristic universe, with the same laws, the same circumstances and even the same characters sometimes (Isaac Asimov's Robot Series, which included the story, "I, Robot," were all about the same futuristic world). I imagine that this is possibly a convention that other early science-fiction authors could have used as well.

If you are trying to get some more John W. Campbell reading material, a quick search on Amazon.com revealed many different used collections that can be purchased quite cheaply.

Sorry I couldn't get some better news for you.

- Rating Pending (who liked the story, "I, Robot," better than the movie, but this is not the fault of Will Smith)
Question #47446 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

If a person jumped into a pool of earthworms, would he sink in or stay on top. It's probably a matter of whether they're slimy or not, and I can't remember if they are or not. Please enlighten.

- Cecelia

A: Dear Cec,

I sank.

A: Dear Cecilia,

It would also depend on how they jumped in. If they did a bellyflop, for instance, I'm pretty sure they would stay on top. If they just dove straight in, they'd probably be able to sink, if they really tried. I think the mass would be dense enough that your test subject wouldn't sink accidentally (without digging himself or herself in intentionally).

Although I am an experimentalist, I (sadly) don't have ready access to a pool of earthworms. If you do, though, feel free to carry out the experiment and let me know how it goes.

—Laser Jock
Question #47444 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

For another project that I am thinking about, I want to see some good footage (slow motion and high resolution preferably) of a spider walking and running. A hunting type spider, such as a wolf or house spider, would be best, but I'll take what I can get.

So, know of anywhere I could see such footage for free?


- Fredjikrang

A: Dear Fredjikrang,

When I read your question I immediately thought of some of the National Geographic shows that I used to watch as a kid. So I went to their website to peruse around and discovered that they have several movies clips about spiders that you can watch. Especially clips with spiders who are hunting. If you go to this link then it should take you to one of the many videos. Or you can just go to the National Geographic website and do your own searches for those types of videos.

Good luck!
Question #47424 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

When will the application [for transfer students] for Fall 2009 be available?


A: Dear dfsoiknkew,

According to the "Fast Answers" page at http://saas.byu.edu:
The Summer and Fall Application will be available mid-October. At that time you can apply online at BeSmart.com. If you have problems with the application, you may call the Admissions Office at (801) 422-2507.
I assume that the application for transfer students will be made available at the same time.

Question #47420 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

In Board Question #47335, Rating Pending says "If you got your $10 million from lottery playing, I'm sorry but you ain't payin' no tithing with that money."

This is a common belief, but I am beginning to think it is a Mormon Myth. I am currently serving as Ward Clerk in my family ward and realized that we never ask people what the source of their tithing is. I also looked through the Church Handbook of Instructions and could not find a prohibition against accepting tithing on gambling winnings. I am certainly against gambling, but where does the idea of the Church not accepting tithing on gambling come from and is it really Church policy?

A: Dear Ethel,

The bad news is, I didn't actually win 10 million dollars. I know, it's very sad. This question would be so much better if it was actually an issue for me.

First, have you ever tried hypothetically asking your bishop about paying a million dollars of tithing? I imagined it would end up something like this:

"Hey, Bishop, I was wondering what would happen if I hypothetically paid a million dollars in tithing."
"Where did you get the million dollars?"
"Technically it would hypothetically be 10 million dollars and I would have in theory won it in the lottery."
"Would it make you feel better if it was smuggling stolen art pieces across the border? Because that didn't happen, but we can pretend it did."
"I signed an ecclesiastical endorsement for you not long ago."
"For which I am very grateful."

So you can understand my hesitance to broach the subject with my bishop--however, he was very kind (and non-questioning) in answering my query.

He said they aren't supposed to accept money from lottery winnings and if I am going from my very small usual tithing amount to one million dollars, he would probably ask what was up. But, really, unless they tell you, you don't know.

I confirmed with my various Church sources that the Church will not accept money on "ill-gotten gains," which I think my non-existent lottery-playing falls under. It isn't officially written in the handbook, but it's apparently a very valid policy.

Besides, it isn't the Church's job to make sure I'm not only not playing the lotto, but also I'm not paying tithing on it. After all, I'm the one who has to be accountable for my money decisions when I rock up to the pleasing bar of God.

-Polly Esther
Question #47409 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

100 Hour Board:

Why do guys sometimes hold/scratch their crotch in front of others? It's nasty. Do they do it because they think girls will be attracted to them?

-Michael Jackson

A: Dear MJ,

Simple answer: we scratch because it itches. The holding thing can vary, but answers include, "It's cold," "Things are sticking to my legs," and "Eh, why not?"

I have very seldom seen guys do this in public purposefully. Most people realize these are private matters. Those who do it in public are in the same realm as those who pick their nose, pop their zits, chew their nails, and spit in public. It's a bad habit. Many may not even be aware they're doing it in public.

Really, give 'em a break. Do you really think they're doing it to try to get women? Our gender isn't nearly as dumb as you're suggesting.

Question #47388 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Who are the youngest known decendents of Erwin Rommel, including those through his assumed illegitimate daughter, Gertrud?

- WWII Buff

A: Dear WWII Buff,

It's hard to say, as there are many families which claim to descend from General Rommel, and I imagine that they continue the standard human procedure of propogating the human race, so the youngest person will constantly be changing. If you're interested in learning more about some of Rommel's descendants, though, I found a number of postings on an Ancestry.com message board from people who believe they are descended from the General. We can thus deduce that, at the very least, there are descendants from General Rommel young enough to be comfortable using the Internet.

Question #47347 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How many division I football players are national merit scholars, and which 5 have the most?

Yours truly,
Giovanni Schwartz, once again on behalf of Vulture Mother

A: Dear Giovanni,

Well, it turns out that the only way to know the exact number of division I football players that are national merit scholars is to read the player bios of all the players of all 238 teams. I'm not that dedicated to the cause. Sorry. After extensive searching, it does seem that there are six or seven each year. That may not seem like many, but when you compare the percentage of football players that are national merit scholars with the percentage of students that are, it's actually fairly impressive.

Fun tidbit: Steve Young was a National Merit Scholar.

Question #47333 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I had never heard of Clearplay.com until a few mins. ago. Now, concerning this program, I didn't quite get this info. from the website: can you move the stick with the editing options from DVD player to DVD player? Or is the stick thingy for only one specific DVD?


A: Dear Not Mine,

For ClearPlay to work, you have to have a DVD player that supports it. Not very many do, so you usually end up getting a new DVD player. Since they only cost about $100, it's not too big a deal.

Assuming you have access to more than one ClearPlay-compatible DVD player, you can use your ClearPlay filters on any of them. The USB stick will hold many filters, so it's not just for one DVD. (For this to work, all the ClearPlay DVD players will also have to have USB ports; ones from several years ago used CD-Rs to transfer filters to the player instead.)

One thing to note, though: the ClearPlay DVD player will load the filter into its own internal memory, so if you use it on a friend's player, you'll be essentially giving them that filter. They probably have a subscription, so it's probably not a big deal, but it's something to keep in mind if you're concerned about the ethics of the situation.

Hopefully you enjoy it!

—Laser Jock

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I read about how it is impossible to learn what songs are played at the library on any given night, because the songs are randomly selected from a play list (Board Question #44396) and was very discouraged, because the music in the library is wonderful. But then I started wondering if there was a way to get ahold of the Library's entire play list that they randomly select the songs from. I would be happy to listen to the whole thing if I could get it.

- Stuck in my musical dilemma

A: Dear sticky,

At first, I read your question and thought, "Hmmm, well, that's a reasonably unique question. Usually people do only try to find out one particular song." But then, after not much searching, what to my wondering eyes should appear but several rather relevant answers to your question:

- Here is an old list (2004) of compilation CDs that the security guards would select songs from.

- Here is a good explanation of how the songs are selected each night (apparently, at least in 2007, there was simply a stack of CDs, many of them blank or unlabeled that someone would just load right on up for the night).

- Here is a Board writer being able to recognize a song that a reader described (it was "Nothing Else Matters," played by Apocalyptica, one of the most common get-outta-here songs that I am familiar with).

There are some repeat answers, with a few other links to other older questions, but I thought this was sufficient. Though I do not know, as mp3 players and iPods have become more and more prevalent, I wouldn't be surprised if they have moved to this format for having a complete playlist (of the type you are thinking of). But included in those links were several good suggestions of where you can start compiling your playlist.

Have at 'em.

- Rating Pending (who enjoys listening to Hans Zimmer movie soundtracks as much as the next late-night library patron. But let's not pretend that these are great, original pieces of classical music, people!)
Question #47294 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

In pickens plan there is a pie chart which describes his plan brought to simplicity - change the Natural Gas power plants into a Natural Gas alternative fuel factories (with the power replaced for wind) this tactic would save about 300 billion dollars annually (from the 700 billion we currently spend on foreign gas) in this period while we wait for the technology of renewable fuels to get up to par --described here: http://www.pickensplan.com/media/?bcpid=1640183817&bclid=1641831862&bctid=1653634930

Anyways in this pie chart the end result was 38 % of the foreign gas removed and therefore the billions saved each year (62 % foreign). However, this pie chart didn't take into account our own gas. Previously, in that same video, he said that today we are importing 70 % from foreign source - 30 % from our own sources. What I want to know is if we drill in Alaska and other close purposed drill-ings what would the percentages then be (containing: Natural Gas, Foreign Gas, Domestic Gas - including) and how much we would save.

- Sorry for the complicated question

A: Dear Apologetic,

The problem with answering a question like this is that nobody knows exactly how much oil is available in ANWR and other domestic oil reserves. The commonly cited number of 10.2 billion barrels in ANWR is simply the mean of the probability distribution. In other words, there could be as low as 4 billion or as high as 17 billion barrels of oil in the area, and the variety in those numbers has a big impact on the answer to your question. An article on the topic states:
"What is reasonable to say is that (the Alaska refuge) could represent between 5 and 10 percent of our national production for a period of 20 to 30 years," says Houseknecht, the government geologist. Domestic oil production averaged 8.6 million barrels a day in 2004.
It also notes that the peak flow of oil from ANWR would likely die off after 3-5 years, so you can't take the peak numbers and assume they'll be there permanently.

The U.S. currently imports roughly 1.6 million barrels of oil per day from Saudi Arabia (our largest provider), and imports approximately 12 million barrels per day overall. Assuming the rough estimates made on oil in ANWR, etc., we could probably reduce our dependence on foreign oil in the short term by about 8% by drilling in Alaska. Other sites could certainly add to the total, but we're not getting rid of foreign imports anytime soon.

So instead of a 70/30 split between foreign and domestic gas, we're looking at a 64/36 split. In addition, the U.S. has the world's sixth-largest reserve of natural gas, and is the second-largest producer. We're already using our natural gas reserves quite a bit, so I doubt we'll see a huge surge in that area; the Pickens Plan has other uses planned anyway, so it doesn't so much increase production there as just shift it.

So there's your answer, or at least as much as I've been able to find. T. Boone Pickens has a whole army of researchers at his disposal, and better access to relevant data as well; he could probably give you more accurate information if you're intensely interested. Just send them an e-mail, and you're on your way!

Question #47210 posted on 09/22/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,
I enjoy watching HGTV. I was wondering if the shows use the homeowners’ money to complete the makeovers or if the shows themselves pay for the costs. I’m particularly interested in the shows “Divine Design” and “Design on a Dime.” Thanks! I love the 100 Hour Board!

- Closet Interior Designer

A: Dear Ethel,

I wasn't able to find anything on their website. A few other places made guesses, but they were so unofficial that they aren't worth mention. So I e-mailed HGTV -- a few times, actually -- and didn't receive a single response. I wondered how many e-mails I could send before it constituted harassment, but decided I didn't want to find out first-hand. My next logical step would be to apply for the shows. I'll let you know if that goes anywhere and in the mean time, maybe one of our readers knows.

-Polly Esther