everybody loves katya...
Question #53817 posted on 10/01/2009 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

In response to Board Question #53714 about donating plasma...much to the chagrin of plasma donation enthusiasts, Biomedics on Center St is no longer in operation.The nearest donation centers are:

Talecris at 651 Columbia Ln, Provo (801)377-1243
PCCI at 349 East University Pkwy, Orem (801) 235-9800

Talecris is right across the street from DI, and is the closest to campus. PCCI has more convenient hours of operation, but is further away. It's right behind "The Sizzler" west of University Mall.

Make sure you bring your social security card, a photo id, and a piece of mail postmarked in the last 30 days to act as a proof of residence. All three have to have your same name. (in case you happen to be a recently married female)

- Gazelem

Question #53808 posted on 10/01/2009 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Regarding the purchase of products containing ephedrine in Board Question #53593:

Whether anything happens from buying too much varies GREATLY by state. As a brief example, take a look at this news story out of Indiana that talks about a grandmother who purchased two boxes of cold medicine in a week. This violated state law (purchasing more than 3.6 grams of pseudoephedrine in one week) and she is being charged with a class-C misdemeanor (carrying a potential sentence of up to 60 days in jail and up to a $500 fine).

Laws vary by state regarding the purchase of such cold medicines. Know your state laws before purchasing!

-Pa Grape


Dear 100 Hour Board,

So I was reading in Genesis tonight (chapter 10) and it mentions how Nimrod was a great man in the sight of God (or something like unto that). My question, then, is how did calling someone "Nimrod" come to be an insult?

- Trissy

A: Dear Trissy,

Genesis 10:8-9 says that Nimrod was "a mighty one in the earth," and "a mighty hunter before the Lord." I had only ever heard someone called a Nimrod if they were a fantastic hunter. The Oxford English Dictionary adds that it's frequently used in an ironic sense—you might call someone who wasn't a great hunter a Nimrod to mock them.

They also have a definition that matches your question: "N. Amer. slang. A stupid or contemptible person; an idiot." Since this is slang, I decided to try the Urban Dictionary and see what they said. The top explanation referred to Dictionary.com, so I went there. They cite the American Heritage Dictionary, which explains: "[P]robably from the phrase 'poor little Nimrod,' used by the cartoon character Bugs Bunny to mock the hapless hunter Elmer Fudd."

As the Urban Dictionary writer points out, the reference would be a bit beyond most small children, who would only grasp that it was being used insultingly (in an ironic sense, since Elmer Fudd is clearly no Nimrod). From there, it apparently got picked up and turned into the slang you know.

Sounds plausible, though I'm not sure how you'd verify it. Apparently the American Heritage Dictionary is satisfied, though.

—Laser Jock
Question #53748 posted on 10/01/2009 3:01 a.m.

Dear Board-100,

Are the Veggietales characters cannibals?

- Board-M

A: Dear Board-M,

Of course not! That's horrible! They only eat humans. Healthy, good-for-you humans.

- Rating Pending (who is not saying that if you could see the VeggieTales characters' invisible hands, they would covered with blood. He is not saying that at all.)
A: Board-M-

Not if they only eat different species of plants (Larry could eat Bob, for example). After all, we aren't cannibals because we eat other species of animals. We're just awesome.

- Cuddlefish
Question #53747 posted on 10/01/2009 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I've been meaning to ask this for a while, but I kept forgetting:

Why did they change the menu and bowl shape at Teriyaki Stix?

- Do the Moo Shoo!

A: Dear Do,

I asked a friend of mine who used to work at Teriyaki Stix:
Well, there was a change early this year (I think) to bowls that were smaller in diameter but deeper. I imagine that that was precipitated either by cost or by space conservation, because you could have more of those bowls in a smaller area or box than the earlier ones. As for menu changes, I just remember various price increases. The one that angered everybody was making curry the same price as everything else--that was definitely greed. And we discontinued the beef bowl because not very many people ordered it before we made it into a special.
That's just until the end of spring term; changes since then probably have similar justifications.

Question #53743 posted on 10/01/2009 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I know that some Disney cartoons (Lion King, Little Mermaid) have inappropriate drawings in them that are disguised. What other Disney movies have these and WHY do the artists feel the need to cause controversy to these movies?


A: Dear Karate Chop,

Actually, most of the things you're citing are just rumors, myths, and legends, or are at the very least incredibly ambiguous...at least if you take Snopes.com at its word (which I tend to do). In fact, the only risqué thing ever confirmed in a Disney movie was from The Rescuers, in which there were two frames where a topless woman could be (hardly) seen in the background. And that, claims Disney, was done in post-production, not by any of the animators.

Don't believe everything you hear.


The only other film I've heard rumored to have inappropriate frames is Who Framed Roger Rabbit, which seems to have more truth to the rumors than the Lion King and Little Mermaid rumors you reference.

As for how these rumors come about, it is not unheard of for animators to amuse themselves by slipping unexpected and/or inappropriate drawings into their films. This practice has been seen less and less since home video players which allowed frame-by-frame viewing have been introduced (before at-home frame-by-frame viewing was a possibility, nobody would have ever seen these frames).

However, as the links Claudio provided explain, often the viewer is convinced they see something they don't because they've been told it's there.

-Humble Master
A: Dear Heeyah,

"Know" is a pretty strong word. The Lion King one is debatable and, like a Rorschach test, says more about the viewer than the film; the Little Mermaid one is totally wrong. The only obviously deliberate lewd addition was in The Rescuers, which was discovered by Disney, which promptly recalled 3.4 million copies of the video. There is also some controversy regarding Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

As for why, well, Snopes suggests that animators amused themselves by inserting racy content that was only a few frames long—far too short for audiences in a theater to ever be able to see. Though it was certainly inappropriate, it was also unnoticeable and therefore harmless to audiences. However, with the replay, pause, and frame-by-frame abilities of home video, these bits are accessible to viewers who look for them. But only the animators can speak for their motives.

Waldorf and Sauron (who apparently wrote this answer at the same time as Humble Master and Claudio)
A: Dear HM,

Oops. Missed that one. Still, Heeyah!, Snopes only gives that one an "undetermined."

A: Dear Heeyah

Hi, it's me again. I just wanted to touch on the motivation aspect of your question, which I didn't do justice to in my first response. I think that, generally, the motivation for an animator to put in anything inappropriate is to amuse themselves and tickle their admittedly juvenile sense of humor. As has been stated, none of the so-called controversies really has any affect on the viewer (subliminal messages don't work). Most likely, they're bored of drawing the same thing over and over (which they knew was in the job description, that doesn't mean it wouldn't get monotonous). It's possible that to break the boredom they add something that makes them chuckle in a juvenile sort of way, but that in no way is meant to subvert the morals of generations of children that watch animated films.

-Humble Master
Question #53740 posted on 10/01/2009 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Suppose Bob and Jane decided to buy a house. Bob and Jane still had several months left on the lease for their apartment, but they'd found a good price and wanted to take advantage of the tax credit &c and so wanted to buy now. They attempted to sell their contract to someone else, but didn't find any takers. What would happen if they just moved out and stopped paying rent on their apartment?

- pippin galadriel moonchild
(who is neither Bob nor Jane but is highly curious)

A: Dear pippin,

They would probably get taken to small claims court and forced to pay the rent. They would also probably be reported to a credit agency, endangering their ability to get a mortgage.

A: pgm-

If they broke contract, the lessor would pursue compensation as outlined in the contract itself, state law, and federal law. As obstreperous stated, their credit score would be more or less destroyed and it would make it extremely difficult to get any sort of loan in the future. Any loan that they did get would have higher interest rates.

In the end they'd end up paying far more than the original couple thousand dollars worth of rent. It's smarter just to pay it.

- Cuddlefish
Question #53739 posted on 10/01/2009 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How much cleavage is it appropriate for me to show?


A: Dear MustacheBoy,

Your 'nym strongly suggests you're a guy, so I'm not quite sure why you're asking. Last I checked, guys don't really have cleavage. It's still not usually appropriate for them to go shirtless, though, and showing more than a couple of inches of neck/chest at the top of your shirt is probably in poor taste. (I can't help but think of the 80s.)

If you just happened to pick an androgynous alias but are, in fact, female, I'd say the LDS norm is showing zero cleavage. It's what I'm most comfortable with seeing as well.

—Laser Jock
A: Dear MustacheBoy,

Well, sir (I think and hope), on a nice sunny day, do not show your man-cleavage. On a winter's day, do not show your man-cleavage. Laser Jock says for women there ought to be zero cleavage, and I would venture to say that the same is true for men also. Keep your collar line high, buy an undershirt, do whatever it takes to keep your chest away from our eyes.

Except, I guess, if you are swimming. Or maybe if your shirt is on fire. Or if you work out a lot... no, no, really just keep that collar high.

A: Dear horrifying mental image,

Wear something comfortable and appropriate for your environment, and don't worry about how your chest looks to overly-sensitive, judgmental young men. Or women. I'm sure you're just fine.

A: Dear MustacheBoy,

I'd say about a healthy 7.8% of cleavage would be appropriate for you. Give that a try and let me know how it works out for you.

-Sky Bones
A: MustacheBoy-

The only cleavage most guys have is generally covered by the seat of their pants. Please, for all our sakes, refrain from showing any of it.

- Cuddlefish
Question #53738 posted on 10/01/2009 3:01 a.m.

Dear 1OO Hour Board,

What would be a good play for say an age range of about 11 to 16 year olds to preform? Peter Pan? Cinderella? I have been brain-storming and i need some more ideas!

-The writer....

A: Dear The writer....,

My advice would be to not lowball their abilities. If you pick something too common and too simple, I'd imagine that your group will become unenthusiastic. Challenge them. They can do it.

When I was in the fourth and fifth grades, I was involved in adaptations of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, Macbeth, and Much Ado About Nothing, complete with Shakespearean-era language. No one in the cast or crew was over the age of 11 except for a couple of adult directors, but we had the time of our lives. The trick was to make sure that every member of the cast and crew really understood the story. After that, it was cake. Kids are creative and they'll embrace the role you give them. Other plays that program commonly does are The Tempest, The Taming of the Shrew, and Comedy of Errors. In middle school, I was involved in very successful adaptations of The Velveteen Rabbit; A Midsummer Night's Dream (this play really is accessible, and in middle school we pulled out the real Shakespeare); The Wizard of Oz; You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown; and The Diary of Anne Frank. I can tell you that with such productions as The Velveteen Rabbit and The Wizard of Oz we felt a little patronized and didn't really perform as well. It was still good fun, though. The rights to some of those shows are expensive, but hey, your pseudonym says that you're a writer, so get creative.

Some of the best theatre experiences I had growing up were what my creative teachers put together. Once we did a four-part play that featured Little Red Riding Hood as a Greek tragedy, a melodrama, a sitcom, and a Broadway musical (I was Little Red in this version, and it featured "I Whistle a Happy Tune," "Ease on Down the Road," "Friendship," and a couple others). We once did a play showing off December traditions all around the world. One of my teachers put together a show telling all the stories of all the villains in Disney fairy tales (yours truly had her story of Gaston featured, which is still my proudest accomplishment as a writer). The one I remember most fondly was a (pre-Night at the Museum) play one of my teachers wrote about kids getting stuck in an art museum overnight and the works of art kept coming to life ("American Gothic" came alive to sing the theme song of Green Acres and this painting came alive to sing "Revolution" by the Beatles). Make references the kids understand, or teach them the references. They will embrace them and have a great time. We threw together each of those plays in about a month on low budgets, and all of these plays were performed by nine- to eleven-year-olds.

My advice would be to take a famous work (I'm all about Shakespeare, personally) and adapt it to fit your needs, or write up something new. Challenge your kids and give them something they can really sink their teeth into. That will ensure that they have a great experience they remember for the rest of their lives. I'm 21 and I still look back on each of those productions fondly. They changed my life.

- The Black Sheep

Dear 100 Hour Board,

This question comes from my roommate:

Why does "a.m." and "p.m." change at 12 o'clock? Wouldn't it make more sense to have it be 1-12 instead of 12, 1-11?

Also, why did they choose 12 to be "noon" and "midnight"?

- Dead Cat

A: Dear Dead Cat,

A.M. and P.M. mean, respectively, ante meridiem and post meridiem. Translated from Latin, that's "before mid-day" and "after mid-day." Since our clock defines 12 (noon) as the mid-day point, anything before noon is A.M., and anything after noon is P.M. There is, of course, the question of whether noon should be grouped with "before noon" or "after noon," and the decision was to group it with the rest of its hour. After all, having 12:00:00 AM be one second before 12:00:01 PM would just be odd.

Now, the real question is why noon isn't defined as 1:00. In ancient Rome (and even before), the day was divided into 12 hours, and the night into 4 watches. Thus, the day went from 6 "hours" before noon to 6 "hours" after noon. (Note that these "hours" were actually simply 1/12 of the daylight that day, which meant that an hour was longer in the summer than in the winter.) In the ancient Roman system, time was more directly measured from the meridian; 3:00 P.M. meant "3 hours after the meridian" and 3:00 A.M. meant "3 hours before the meridian." (Yes, that's right; in Ancient Rome, 3:00 A.M was a perfectly reasonable time to be at work.)

When mechanical clocks came into existence in the 1300s, they kept the standard 12 hours of daylight and added 12 hours during the night, which meant a full 24 hours. However, since it's easier to tell time on a 12-hour analog clock than a 24-hour analog clock, they kept the 1-12 numbering already used for post meridiem, and redefined the before-noon hours to be as we know them today.

Now please, don't go quoting me in a research paper; I've skimmed over a lot of details and made some overgeneralizations. But hopefully you've got a better idea of why our clocks are the way they are.

Question #53736 posted on 10/01/2009 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How many BYU students does it take to screw in a light-bulb?

-Still thinking

A: Dear Still,

We emailed our contact on the BYU custodial staff and this is what she said:
Waldorf and Sauron
Question #53735 posted on 10/01/2009 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Sometimes I store my laptop vertically, leaning against something like a table or couch. Back in the day, one of my roommates used to borrow my laptop (without asking and when I wasn't home...but I'm not bitter). When she was done, she would set it back down vertically, but she would position it upside-down with the cord side contacting the floor...the least logical position for such a device. So the power connection took a lot of stress from this, and I think that busted some of the internal wiring in the cord because it's getting harder and harder to keep a continuous power connection. Most people would say it's got a "short" but I've heard that term is inaccurate. But she basically destroyed the computer-end of my power cord.

I've seen some electronically-savvy people replace the plugs on certain kinds of power cords (like the ones for lamps or small electronic devices). Can you do the same thing with a laptop cord? Or would that be too difficult/risky? I'd rather not shell out fifty bucks for a new cord if I don't have to. I'm hoping for a new computer next year, anyway.

-Nope. I'm not bitter at all.

A: Dear Nope,

It's possible, but unless you have somebody who's able to order the right part (probably impossible) and willing (and able) to install it cheaply, and you're aware of possible safety issues, it won't be worth it. With the going rate of labor of somebody skilled enough to replace the plug safely, it would cost more than a replacement. Just buy the cord. Look on ebay for deals. Then when you sell your old computer, you won't have to try to sell damaged goods.

Waldorf and Sauron
A: Dear Bitter,

I'm with Waldorf and Sauron. The best option is to just replace the cord (or the whole power adapter, if the cord is built in like with most I've seen).

Due to sheer use, my power adapter started behaving erratically too. (This was due, as far as I could tell, to the weight of the cord itself hanging down while I was using my laptop.) I looked into repairing it (and I talked with one of the best electronics men on campus), and although it would've been possible, the time and hassle just wasn't worth the ~$30 for a new adapter.

A note: buying a new adapter from the manufacturer can be expensive. Try looking for a refurbished one on their website. I got a refurbished adapter for $30-$35 from Dell, and it was basically brand-new. You can also find cheap generic power adapters advertised to work with your laptop, but you'll want to be a bit careful (quality can be so-so).

—Laser Jock
Question #53734 posted on 10/01/2009 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

At some point, one of the USB ports in my laptop lost the little black plastic cover that goes over the four metal prongs. So I can still plug things into it, but the connection is super flakey. Is it possible to repair or replace something like that? I know laptops can be tricky to work with...


A: Dear Disconected,

I asked my reliable computer-savvy friend about your question. Just as I suspected, those little cover things really aren't too important, and if that is what you want to replace then you should just consider getting some more from a computer store. If you actually want to replace the USB port itself then you should go to a computer specialist. It isn't really too complicated. If your USB ports are a part of the computer, i.e., connected to the motherboard, then you would have to replace the entire thing. If they are external, then you just need to replace them, which is way easier.

If you aren't sure what to buy, or what needs replacing, I still recommend going to see a guy about a computer. There are people who work in the BYU Bookstore (second floor, in the computers area, imagine that), and there are quite a few computer places in the Provo/Orem area.

Question #53733 posted on 10/01/2009 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

My hard drive is full. My parents bought an external hard drive for me, and I've never gotten around to moving stuff over there because I always figured it would take half a lifetime to transfer all my stuff. So, just out of curiosity, what would be a good ballpark estimate for the time it would take to transfer 60GB of files to an external hard drive via USB? I think my laptop has USB 2.0, if that helps.

-Lots of stuff

A: Dear Lots of stuff,

60 GB really isn't that big of a deal. Yeah, it'll take longer than 5 minutes, but that's why I'd suggest just starting the copy and then going and doing something else.

USB 2.0 has a theoretical maximum transfer rate of 60 MB/s (480 Mbps), but for a variety of reasons the real maximum is more like 40 MB/s. You're unlikely to even see that, though; I usually see more like 10-20 MB/s when copying to an external drive (due to things like copying smaller files, disk fragmentation, etc.).

Assuming something in that range, then, it'll probably take you one or two hours to move all your stuff over. So start it and then head off and do something else. Oh, and something to do after you've moved your files and freed up space on your main hard drive: defragment. One consequence of using a drive that's mostly full is that it tends to get very badly fragmented, which can noticeably slow down your computer. Note that defragmenting could also take a while, so again, I suggest starting it and then just letting it go.

One more thing: be careful with that external drive. Just like any other hard drive, external drives are sensitive to being dropped, jostled, or otherwise experiencing mechanical shock, especially when they're running. I would highly recommend having backups of anything that's important to you. (Of course, I would recommend that whether we were talking about this external drive or not.)

—Laser Jock
Question #53732 posted on 10/01/2009 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I was flipping through the channels this morning and came across Jane and the Dragon on NBC. It is clearly CGI, but looks just like the animation out of RPGs like Final Fantasy. I don't think it's just the medieval setting- it's in the way they're animated. Seriously, I feel like I'm watching Final Fantasy here. What's the difference in the way RPGs like that (and apparently Jane and the Dragon) and more mainstream CGI (like Pixar) are animated?


A: Dear Piper,

It's lots of things; basically, it's how much work and skill was put into it. There's no way to get the quality of a Pixar film in a TV show because that attention to detail is very expensive. I can point out a few of the differences you're noticing: set and character design, texturing, lighting, simplistic modeling, character rigging (basically how dexterous the character is, and how the muscles bulge and move based on joint movements). From what I saw, the biggest problem was lighting; it's all ambient lighting and so everything is flat-looking and pretty much the same brightness.

There are even points in which the characters don't properly cast shadows. Another problem is that the entire show is rendered in deep focus—the far-away background is just as clear as the foreground.

All of these things are probably due to budgetary constraints, and the fact that kids don't really care.

Waldorf and Sauron
Question #53731 posted on 10/01/2009 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How often do you repeat the quotes in the title page? I only ask because I'm pretty dang sure I've seen the quote in today's title bar (Lavish's quote about Europeans, Board Writers, and Sunday walks) before.

Caught ya,

- Sheer-luck Holmes

A: Dear Sherlock,

We have a pool of title quotes from which the daily quote is randomly selected. We add to this pool periodically, but not at a rate of six per week, so you're likely to see repeats.

Question #53730 posted on 10/01/2009 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I had heard of the TV show Battlestar Galactica before but never watched it, and I was surprised and amused that the show includes elements such as the Quorum of Twelve and Colonies of Kobol. What other take-offs from our Church are in that show?

- tv watcher

A: Dear tv watcher,

I am surprised and pleased to tell you that I downloaded an article addressing this very topic before you even asked this question. It is called "Battlestar Gallactica and Mormon Theology" by Professor James E. Ford, who happens to be visiting BYU right now! He is a favorite professor of mine. If you're interested, you can e-mail me for the article or look in a literature database for it (it's probably from MLA or JSTOR). My 100 HB e-mail is whistler at theboard dot byu dot edu. The article was published in 1983, so it references the original series (not the reimagined series, although I'll bet similarities continue). For now, I'll summarize key points:

-"Lords of Kobol" corresponds with the LDS idea that gods created the heaven and the earth.
-Kobol and Kolob, as you mentioned, "have ordained the same governing structure for mankind," with the twelve apostles and a president.
-Adama marries couples for time and all eternity, as LDS theology practices.
-Adama recounts that there are laws which govern even godlike beings, and man may be related to, rather than just created by, Deity.
-The episode "War of the Gods" has striking similarities to the LDS plan of salvation - Count Iblis mirroring Satan and other obvious parallels, such as the idea that all must abide by the same rules of existence, gods and devils alike (opposition in all things), and humans may become gods (law of eternal progression).

These similarities might arise from Glen A. Larson's (executive director and writer) own membership in the LDS church.

A: Dear tv watcher and Whistler

Glen A. Larson is actually the creator of Battlestar Galactica (the original 1978 tv series), not just a writer and producer of the current series. He also created the original Knight Rider, which had fewer LDS theological references.

-Humble Master
Question #53727 posted on 10/01/2009 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Houses Built,

Is it possible to bring a blanket to a solo interaction on campus with a girl in whom you are possibly interested without kissing her at some point in the night? Having never kissed a girl before two weeks ago, I'm up to two unique hits on that page and honestly, I kind of want to slow it down. It's getting cold out and it's nice to be able to be comfortably warm and close with someone, but things always seem to escalate right as soon as the blanket hits the grass, even/especially when I set out with the goal of not allowing them to. I feel a tidbit lame because I don't always have the best control of my actions in the situation (I seem to always find a way to rationalize that last inch of gravitation before cascading into the act itself). Do you have any tips on avoiding such speedy seduction while maintaining amiable physical affection?

- Proteus, ever the unwitting Byronic Hero

A: Dear Proteus,

Yeah, get hitched.

It's called hormones and there's really not much you can do about them other than avoid situations like that.

-Sky Bones
A: Dear Proteus,

Yes, it's possible, but (depending on the people involved) it may not be probable. Since you already know that you have difficulty not kissing the girl in situations like this, just do like Sky Bones suggested: avoid blanket time unless you're okay with kissing your partner.

There's nothing wrong with recognizing that this is a weak area and just staying away from it. I'm willing to guess that quite a few people would end up kissing in the situation you describe—as Sky Bones also pointed out, it's hormones, and the the temptation is very natural. It's not just you.

—Laser Jock
A: Proteus-

Sit on a lawn when you know that the sprinklers will start up any minute, and be ready to run. It worked for me.

- Cuddlefish
Question #53726 posted on 10/01/2009 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Handed Ballerina,

Are there limited access priveliges for the underground physics lab in the ESC? The door is neither locked nor warning-signed. It's my favourite place to study so far because there's nearly nothing to distract me, and distraction --as you can tell by the hour at which I post-- is my middle name. I've also heard that there's a separate, secure lab deeper down and further under the quad. Is this true?

- Sir Proteus Distraction Newton

A: Dear Sir,

No. Up until the underground was renovated (which was finished last summer), it was mostly one huge open space, roughly partitioned off so that different professors could use part of the space. Since tons of expensive, complicated equipment was right out in the open, the door that led to the underground lab was locked (you needed either a key or card-swipe access). (For an example of what was down there, the first thing you saw on your right when you got to the very bottom of the stairs was a particle accelerator. I kid not.)

Now, however, the space has been divided up into separate labs, with walls and doors and everything (as you can tell). Since each of the labs is individually locked, the door leading down to the underground lab is no longer locked, and anyone who wishes is free to go down and study.

And no, there's not another, deeper lab. What you see is what you get.

—Laser Jock, who appreciates the new, modern underground lab but still feels like the old version was cooler
Question #53725 posted on 10/01/2009 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

At the east end of the Benson Building, on the south wall of the main hall, are electron micrographs of several different viruses. Who took those pictures and why?

—Phage Hunter

A: Dear fellow Phage Hunter,

This strikes me as being funny seeing as we'll see each other in about an hour from when I'm writing this, but we're both anonymous!

But, I did find an answer to your question. Those pictures were taken by Dr. David Belnap, whose office you can find in that same hallway (room E111).

The pictures are as follows (going L->R and Up->Down, like you would normally read):

1 - A virus from an Australian salt lake
2 - Virus from the Great Salt Lake
3 - Bovine papillomavirus, a bacteriophage which causes warts in cattle
4 - Avian polyomavirus, a study of which is found on the poster on the opposite wall
5 - Bacteriophage from soil in Texas
6 - Virus from the Great Salt Lake

He seemed like a pretty busy man and was kind enough to let me steal a few minutes of his time, so we didn't talk much about what each particular study was about. If you'd like to know more, you can contact him and I'm sure he'd be willing to field your questions.

-Commander Keen
Question #53724 posted on 10/01/2009 3:01 a.m.

Is it just me, or is the testing center much colder this fall than last fall/winter? Did they upgrade the AC in there, or did they just decide they might boost test scores if they kept it a temperature that doesn't immediately induce sleep. In any case, if you can figure out who is responsible for this delightful ∆T, would you tell them thank-you from me -- and tell them to make sure they keep it this way.

-Hot under the collar

A: Dear Hot under the collar,

If by colder, you mean colder-hearted, then yes, the testing center is colder this semester.

Still mad about the test that kicked me in the face today,

A: Dear collared,

I sent an email to the testing center and they very promptly responded:
The temperature isn’t any different this year. The Heating and Air Conditioning people from the Physical Plant control the temperature. I don’t know where the temperature is set, but it should be pretty standard for all of campus.
- Rating Pending (who hasn't been to the testing center in almost two years now and is glad getting this answer didn't involve going there)
Question #53706 posted on 10/01/2009 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Hey, kids. What do you do when you've been laying in bed for 2 hours and can't fall asleep? What kinds of things keep you from falling asleep? For example, last week I felt like earwax was building up in my ears (it wasn't) and I couldn't fall asleep until after I had cleaned my already clean ears. Tonight, I don't know what it is, but it is not awesome.

- Azriel

A: Azriel-

I generally get up and read a book until I collapse from exhaustion. If I'm not going to sleep, I'd rather be doing something productive than staring at the ceiling.

- Cuddlefish
A: Dear Azriel,

Usually if I can't fall asleep it is because I'm way overanalyzing some aspect of my life. To overcome that I try to fill my head with mundane, repetitive things. Lately, I count down from one hundred to zero in a foreign language. If I am still awake at zero, I begin counting upwards until I lose count or fall asleep. When that is ineffective, I listen to music that I know all the words to, and sing along in my head. The familiarity puts me to sleep pretty quickly. My most recent CD with which I do this is Plans</I>, by Death Cab For Cutie. It is strangely nice to fall asleep to.

A: Dear Azriel,

I am blessed with the ability to fall asleep almost instantly. I am also, however, incredibly impatient, so when I can't fall asleep, it is bad news. I usually only last about fifteen minutes without being able to fall asleep before I give up. Then, I get up, read, clean, watch a movie, or do homework until I feel tired enough to fall asleep. Luckily, this only happens to me once in a great while, so I don't lose too much sleep over it.

Good luck!

A: Dear Azriel,

When I can't sleep I become a real chatterbox. When my husband falls asleep but I still can't, I play video games. I'm kept awake by thinking such things as, "Geez, I think I know where that missing heart piece is now."

With the recent addition to our family, however, when it finally comes time to hit the hay, falling asleep has never before come so quickly. So, maybe having a baby would answer all of your problems. Just a suggestion.

-Sky Bones
A: Dear Azriel,

Usually when I can't sleep it's because my mind's already going on some other track. I'm a nerd, so it's usually (and I do mean often) something about programming. Figuring out how to call Objective-C code from Javascript so that I can write an awesome OS X dashboard widget was last night's distraction. Of course, since I got my iPod Touch I have access to the internet in bed (much to the chagrin of my wife, I suspect), so I end up doing a bunch of programming research on a rather small screen. It keeps me up for a bit, but if I don't look it up it's often worse.

When I was in high school and couldn't sleep, I tried the "counting sheep" method. I found it far too boring to hold my attention for even two minutes, though, so I migrated to something more interesting: powers of two. 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16384, 32072, 65536... yeah, I got up to 67,108,864 (226) consistently. It didn't work to put me to sleep, but at least it kept me distracted.

A: Yellow,

I do that too! And 2 to the 15th is 32,768, homeslice. I used to have that much KB of RAM! Pentium II FTW.

Question #53700 posted on 10/01/2009 3:01 a.m.

Dear Sages of the 100 Hour Board,

I have been thinking lately about failure and how it is often based on perspective and/or context, or maybe someone was labeled a failure who just hadn't arrived at his or her prime yet. For example, some of the events described in Man with a Mustache's answer to question Board Question #50338 I'm more thinking about things than people, though. Like I remember hearing as a kid that matches were invented by accident (although nothing I have found online seems to support that). Things that were originally seen as failures or mistakes but then became popular in their own right.

My question is: have you ever heard stories like this, about anything or anyone, although like I said, I'm mostly interested in things (like mistaken inventions or innovations), and if so, what are some you find cool?


- Guy Fawkes

A: Dear Guy Fawkes,

The first two accidental inventions that popped into my mind were penicillin and the microwave. I've always been under the impression that the stories of how those two things came to be are fairly well known, so I thought about your question for a couple days. To be honest, I didn't really come up with much on my own, but I knew there had to be others out there. So, I did some searching.

You, my friend, might be interested in this site, and perhaps this one, and maybe even this last one. There are a couple overlaps between these three sites, but you get the idea. There are a lot of things out there that we take for granted that were actually discovered by accident or as a result of a failed experiment. Well, not failed, it just didn't quite turn out the way the experimenter was expecting. Like Post-it Notes! Seriously, who would have thought?

So, I'm with you on this one, that failure is almost always a matter of perception. I think a lot of people out there would be so much better off with a little confidence in themselves and a morale boost from those around them. I mean after all, Vincent van Gogh only sold one of his 900+ paintings during his lifetime.

-Sky Bones
Question #53692 posted on 10/01/2009 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What qualifies as a "principal residence" under the mortgage debt relief act of 2007? For instance, we have a residence that we moved out of 1 year ago and could not sale. Can that qualify?

- Anonymous

A: Dear Anonymous,

In general, "principal residence" is a slightly fluid term. Although from 2005, this article explains pretty well what a principal residence usually means. The most basic definition, and that which is used in the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007, is the main place of residency for the people involved. If a person has more than one home, then the one in which they usually reside is considered the principal residence. This entire act does not apply to second homes at all. If a person decides to change their second home to their principal residence in the eyes of the law, then the act will apply no more than $250,000, or $500,000, to that home in comparison to the original principal residence, depending on the circumstances. I found much of this information on this website.

If you are not living in the residence, then it should not qualify. As I mentioned, you can technically change a second home's status to that of principal residence; however, the Mortgage Debt Relief Act will not affect it in the same way as it would have. If you want to push it as your principal residence, you always have the option of consulting with a lawyer to see what other options you have.

Question #53612 posted on 10/01/2009 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How many seats are in one of the W111 or W112 BNSN lecture halls? And what is the maximum capacity? I looked around by I must be missing the sign.
- Chemminor

A: Dear Chemminor,

The W111 and W112 classrooms have class sizes up to 249 students. Of course, you cannot have the maximum class size reach the room's maximum occupancy, or else how will other students check out the class to add the course, or audit? Let's give a leeway of twenty-six students, giving us a nice number, 275.

Yes, there are 275* seats in W111 and also W112. Maximum occupancy is closer to 300, for those special days when the Chem 101 professors blow up gummy bears and do other cool tricks.


*These numbers have an error of +/-26.