Whenever he thought about it, he felt terrible. And so, at last, he came to a fateful decision. He decided not to think about it. ~John-Roger and Peter McWilliams
Question #53723 posted on 09/30/2009 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Which temple in the world is the one where most people get sealed for marriage?

- -Fairweather Fan- -

A: Dear FF,

This is admittedly a guess, but I'm going to say the Salt Lake temple. It has a lot of things going for it: (a) it's in the middle of the largest population of LDS people in the world (the Wasatch Front), (b) it's one of the biggest temples, and (c) it's historic. (I was going to add in that it's gorgeous, but that pretty well goes for all the temples.)

Also, try walking by sometime in the summer and see how many brides you can spot outside the temple. One time recently I counted 6-8, as I recall, and I don't think that's anything unusual.

—Laser Jock
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

The word "boo" bugs me when people use it as a term of endearment. I mean, seriously, you're going to call someone you love your boo? Anyways, I was wondering how this word came to be a term of endearment. When was it first noticed to be used in that way?

-I have a boo boo

A: Dear Boo Boo,

A long time ago, before many Americans hated France and boycotted French fries, people thought French was a beautiful language. School girls would learn it, hoping to be swept away by some suave foreign exchange student. Somewhere in the whirl and twirl of learning of French, a person must have come across the word "beau." This French word, meaning handsome, was easily used as a term of endearment. Between French people, or hopeful teenagers, it was a word with foreign mystique, a little accent, and sweet connotations.

Not everyone can speak French. The word's pronunciation was smacked around until it came back resembling the sound ghosts make. Really "boo" is just "beau," mispronounced. Now your second question is when was "boo" first used as a cutesy term. I imagine the first time this French word was mispronounced was the first time it was used in that context.

-Mico
Question #53721 posted on 09/30/2009 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Evidently some on the Board believe that we have a moral obligation to obey the law, unless we personally think the law is bad. Does this mean that every time Congress passes a law, with some saying that the law will infringe on our right and control of property, and others saying that the law will be good for the country, only those who were in favor of the law are morally obligated to uphold and sustain that law?

- Vorpal Blade

A: Dear Vorpal Blade,

I do not believe (and I don't think anyone else on the Board does) that it's acceptable to disobey laws because I think they are unjust. I think it is acceptable to disobey laws if they actually are unjust. These unjust laws may be rare, but they obviously exist. (I'll now refrain from validating Godwin's Law, but oh boy could I.)

My answer to your question is an obvious corollary: everyone is obligated to obey just laws, and no one is obligated to obey unjust laws.

Before anyone gets too incensed about this line of thought as it applies to infringement on property rights, they should have a good long think about what caused the American Revolution. It all started as a dispute about unjust infringement on the right and control of property (a.k.a. taxation without representation and such), and I certainly would support it, eh?

~Ƥ. Ɗ. Kirĸe
A: Hi Vorpal Blade-

I look at it in the same way that I look at military orders. In the military, a soldier is required to obey all orders so long as they are not illegal. In civilian life, I believe that we should obey all laws unless they are either breaking other civil laws or unless they are breaking the laws of God. As for property control laws, some of the areas that they cover (music downloads, dvd reproduction) are so new that the laws themselves are fuzzy, and a lot of eventualities remain uncovered. I'll obey them to the best of my understanding, and hope that the law will make itself crystal clear sometime soon.

- Cuddlefish
Question #53720 posted on 09/30/2009 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How much heat from a chili pepper can you take?

- myself

A: Dear you,

Rather than exploiting the grammar in your question, I'll just say that I've eaten a habañero pepper straight, whole, and on a basically empty stomach. The next hour of my life was a painful one (not to mention the next day...). I wouldn't recommend doing that.

And Cuddlefish, I wouldn't "Hah" habañeros. Those things could be what make the chili you like as hot as it is. Believe me, your stomach hurts for quite a while when you eat one (my friend threw up because of it, and I got pretty close as well). If you really like hot stuff and haven't eaten one whole, then I'd gladly invite you to do so.

-Commander Keen
A: Dear yourself,

A few weeks ago I was eating some weird Chinese food. At this time I was more into just eating whatever was given to me than really worrying about what it was, you know, to have more experiences. Oh, I had an experience alright. There were a lot of green things in the food, and I figured they were more harmless vegetables. I took one, and stuck it in my mouth. Three, two, one...

AHHH! My throat, mouth, and entire face were all on fire. Everyone around the table looked at my red red face, asking if I was okay, while stifling their giggles. I was fine, two glasses of Sprite and a bowl of rice later.

I can take as much heat from a chili pepper as an old book can take from a bonfire.

-Mico
A: Dear Myself (why don't I remember asking any of these questions?!),

It would be way too easy (and amusing) to twist this question into something else. I'll control myself, though.

I can handle an extraordinary amount of heat when it comes to food. I swear, I'm going to burn a hole right through my stomach lining one of these days. When I used to work at a pizza parlor, I would cover my pizza with jalepenos, and, when it came out of the oven, I would throw a pretty thick layer of crushed red peppers on top. Bam (excuse the lack of self-control here)!

I've spiced up my life (ha!),

⋯Anomalous
A: Myself-

Habaneros? Red Peppers? Green things in Chinese? Hah.

Chili isn't hot enough unless it makes your eyes sweat and your stomach ache half an hour later. It isn't hot unless your throat burns from breathing the steam coming off of it. It isn't hot until peeling the pepper takes the skin off your fingers. That is the kind of chili I like.

- Cuddlefish
Question #53719 posted on 09/30/2009 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

There's this awkwardness between me and one of my roommates--so awkward that I almost can't stand it. Since I met him, it felt like at some point, I won't get along very well with him. We're in good terms though. We don't talk to each other a lot, but when we do, it's usually just a short conversation. When he talks to me, he seems to always have a straight face--not the kind of face I like to see when I talk to people. It's like he doesn't really want to talk to me. I've met a few people like this before, you know, those people that you really just can't "mix" with. How do I deal with this people? I want to have a better relationship with him, especially that we live together in the same apartment and we're actually home teaching companions as well?

- Bonaparte

A: Dear Bonaparte,

I had a similar kind of awkwardness develop between one of my roommates and me before I got hitched. I thought perhaps bringing it out in the open and discussing it would help relieve some of the awkwardness and create a much more pleasant apartment setting.

This might work with some people, but in my particular situation it pretty much completely ruined everything. I tried to be as friendly and kind as possible and just explain to my roommate how I was feeling, and she was so offended that the awkwardness just turned into her and our other roommate refusing to acknowledge my existence. Any communication we had was reduced to them scribbling notes on the dry erase board about the utility bill or dividing up cleaning duties.

I would recommend that you try serving your roommate. Go out of your way to be kind to him. Obviously you don't want to force him into things he might not like, but maybe you could do his dishes one night or see if he wants to throw a frisbee around. Maybe he's just not the kind of person that is really good at engaging in conversations. So, let your actions speak for you.

Kudos to you for wanting to improve things rather than shrugging them off. I hope it all works out.

-Sky Bones
Question #53718 posted on 09/30/2009 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

My husband and I would like to take an extended vacation in Summer 2011. We'll both be graduated and we'd like to really see somewhere else before we start the more responsible part of our lives. We're thinking probably a month or maybe longer, but I don't know where I'd like to go.
The other problem is that I don't know how relatively safe/unsafe a place is. Mostly, we'd like to go somewhere off the North American continent, like to Africa (the continent, but I don't know which countries are safe(r)), India, somewhere oriental, somewhere Polynesian, in that rank. He speaks Russian, so that won't really help.
I've looked on some travel websites, but I wanted to know if you had any first-hand experience with a country that you could offer a conservative Mormon view on. Neither one of us has really traveled, so we don't want to be naive and get ourselves into hot water.
We're probably going to do a backpacking/hostel/get-as-far-as-you-can-on-this-much-money trip, if that helps.

Thanks in advance,

- Dim

A: Dear Dim,

Before you leave the continent just for the sake of leaving the continent, consider Canada. It's nearby, but there's some virgin, empty, drop-dead gorgeous wilderness up there that few Americans (and even few Canadians) have ever seen. I once did a backpacking trip in a couple of the parks along the continental divide in the Rockies; I saw more mountains than ever before or since and went a full two days without seeing anyone but the people I was hiking with. Anecdotally, one of them was a British guy just traveling around seeing the world, and he decided to hit the Canadian Rockies before the Himalayas, eh? I dunno about hostels, but there are so many campgrounds through Alberta and British Columbia that you could just stick with camping and be more than fine. Finally, Canada is obviously just about as safe and conservative-Mormon-American-friendly as anywhere, and your money could go a long ways without having to buy overseas plane tickets. You could potentially save yourself a lot of risk and money without compromising on scenery or backpacking by hitting Canada instead of somewhere farther away.

The Canadian government (may its size be reduced to match its competence) is actually not paying me for this advertisement, so I'll stop. But do think about it, and if you're intrigued then ask again and I can rhapsodize for quite some time about Canadian dream vacations. Alberta is the place.

~Ƥ. Ɗ. Kirĸe
A: D-

If you don't speak a foreign language that is used in a place you might be interested in visiting, go somewhere where most people know how to speak English. It would be safer and more comfortable for you. Suggestions for destinations with that in mind are Wales and Ireland, which my mother says are wonderful. South Africa might be ok, but I have no personal experience there, and neither does anyone I know.

Hope that helps!

- Cuddlefish
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I find myself suddenly interested in search techniques for musical content. I'm familiar with methods for searching by information such as artist, album title, or release date, but I wonder, are there any techniques which actually search the content of a song? Are they statistically better than random orderings? In addition to whatever answer you can provide, I'd appreciate pointers to recent scholarly publications on the topic.

- An entirely random reader

A: Dear "random" (I know who you are!),

Yes, there are techniques which allow you to actually search the content of a song. Systems attempting to do this will fall into two broad categories which I will make up names for right now: noisy retrieval and free-form search. "Noisy retrieval" would cover applications which expect as input the actual audio signal they are searching for (with the introduction of some unknown noise). An example of this type of system is the phone applications that let you hold your phone up to an audio source and then it tries to tell you what song is being played. Compared to free-form search, this is the "easy" case.

Let's discuss the vastly more challenging and interesting case of free-form search. You have a song stuck in your head, but you can't remember any useful lyrics. You know nothing about it except the tune which keeps repeating, driving you nuts. So you beg people to listen to your rendition of the tune as whistling or humming or singing in an attempt to find out what song it is. You're unsuccessful, but still being driven nuts. So you turn to technology to solve your problem. There is a company specializing in this very thing: Midomi. But, I don't know anything about them. As far as I know they haven't filed any patent applications or provided any insight whatsoever into the algorithms they're using to power their system. However, a recent Master's thesis from BYU focused on this very topic. According to the author the most prevalent way of attempting to solve this problem has been through simplifying the complex audio signal into a simple text string representing pitch changes. This, of course, leaves out a ton of information content which may, or may not, be important. Rather than tossing all that data, the author attempted a new approach based on self-organizing maps which makes use of this data.

The results varied quite dramatically among the users that tested the system; however they did, in general, show an improvement over random orderings. Oddly, the author didn't provide a p-value to describe the statistical significance of his findings. Regardless, random orderings seem like a pretty weak target. The author points out that there is no standard set of benchmarks for this type of system. He then presents several benchmarks with justification for why they should be used, as well as the baselines from random orderings. Now the field has a base upon which further research can build with a convenient means of comparing results.

If you're interested in the nitty gritty details you can read the actual thesis here: "Musical Query-by-Content Using Self-Organizing Maps."

-Curious Physics Minor
Question #53716 posted on 09/30/2009 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

-Everybody knows nuclear power plants are more efficient, cost effective, and environmentally friendly, than plants that use fossil fuels. Their one downside is that people are afraid of radiation, though they have been shown to contribute less radiation than sunlight. Has anyone thought of creating coastal sub-marine nuclear power plants? I mean nobody worries about the navy's nuclear submarines, so why not make something a little more stationary?

- Overambitious Entrepreneur

A: OE-

From what I can gather from those that should know, the reason we haven't even attempted such a thing so far is because it would be prohibitively expensive. Even now, the much simpler land-based nuclear power plants cost millions to billions to design, build and staff. Building a nuclear power plant under the water would make it much, much more complex and expensive to build and staff. I'm sure there's a good scientific reason for not doing it, but I don't know what it would be. Apparently, someone somewhere thought of it, and decided it was a bad idea. I doubt the environmentalists would let it happen anyway, if they could help it.

- Cuddlefish
Question #53714 posted on 09/30/2009 3:01 a.m.
Q:

'Sup, 100 Hour Board!

So, like undoubtedly many other bank account-depleted students, I could use a bit of extra cash to help myself along the financial road. I've heard about the wonders of donating plasma, and it is something I'd like to pursue. The problem? How to get there. My transportation is woefully limited to the bus or my own two feet. Are there any bus routes that I could take that would get me to one of the donation centers? Or, if worse comes to worse, within an acceptable walking distance (with BYU as a starting point)? And if so, what are they?

- Eternally Lost (and in need of cash)

A: Dear Eternally Lost,

The closest location to BYU where you can sell plasma is Bio-Medics, located at 153 W Center Street, Provo. UTA bus route 833, "Provo Center Street," passes in front of the Wilkinson Center and travels down Center Street. Also, you can read Board Question #41627 for a good answer and some links to other good Board answers about plasma selling.

- Rating Pending (who imagined giving this brief little answer with a tip of his imaginary cap before walking off into the dark whistling a jaunty tune)
Question #53712 posted on 09/30/2009 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I've been seeing some pins around campus with a little camera and something that says "We all Live on Campus." I haven't been able to tackle any of the pin-wearers to find out what this is about. SO...what's it about?

- Frosh

A: Dear Frosh,

The purpose of the pins is to advertise a contest that BYU Dining Services is sponsoring. Basically, you have to submit a creative photo thats shows how you make campus your home. The prize? The first place winner gets a 'Cannon Block of Meals-60' meal plan (a $360 value). You can find more details here.

Good luck to everyone!

⋯Anomalous
Question #53711 posted on 09/30/2009 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What would planetary rings look like from the planet surface? If Earth were to have rings, what would we see when we looked up at the night (or day) sky?

-Astrogirl

A: Dear Astrogirl,

I had an idea, but wasn't quite sure enough of my astronomical intuition to give it without support. Fortunately, I found several places that gave clear descriptions of what it would be like to be on the surface of a ringed planet. Since Saturn is the most well-known ringed planet, I focused on it. (Of course you can't stand on the surface of a gas giant, so these descriptions are hypothetical, but still quite helpful in answering your question.)

I'd like to add that I'm assuming you're talking about highly-reflective rings made mainly of ice particles, like Saturn; the darker, dust-based rings surrounding the other three gas giants in our solar system are very hard to see, and would make much less of a difference in what we'd see in our sky.

With that said, here are a few descriptions that I found:
The rings would be dazzling sheets of light arcing across the dark Saturnian sky. Their brilliance would be most impressive just before dawn or after dusk, when the Sun would be below the horizon, but the illuminated parts of the rings would be spectacular curtains hanging above you in the star-filled sky. ("Saturn: The Ringed Planet")

Although Saturn has no solid surface to stand on, humans may someday view its rings from close range. They may walk on some of its icy moons or even float above Saturn's clouds in big balloons. From such a lofty vantage point, the rings would form wide, sparkling bands across the sky. Sometimes, icy particles from the inner edge of Saturn's rings may fall into the planet's atmosphere, creating bright "shooting stars" as they streak through the sky of this delicate giant. ("Saturn")

[I]f you could [stand on Saturn], they [the rings] would look a little bit like the Milky Way looks to us: a stripe of light in the sky. The stripe would be very narrow if you were standing right below the ring, and it would look wider if you were standing towards the poles of the planet, away from the ring. ("Surface of a ringed planet")
And for an artist's conception of what the rings might look like from the surface, see this site.

As several people pointed out in an astronomy forum thread, rings would make astronomy somewhat more difficult by lighting up the night sky and obscuring our view of fainter objects. Even from the winter side of the rings (with the sun shining on the opposite side of them), they'd be visible; for some absolutely gorgeous pictures of Saturn and its rings unlike most you've probably seen, check out these pictures from Cassini, where the Sun is behind Saturn, leaving only the backlit rings. Seriously, they're stunning.

It would be awesome to have rings like Saturn's.

—Laser Jock
Question #53710 posted on 09/30/2009 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

When I was an undergraduate here, I learned a poem in one of my English classes. I think the title was "Mithridates". I am looking for a copy of the complete poem and the author.

The poem has these words:

"There was a king sat in the east
And there when kings will sit to feast
They get their fill before they think
Of poisoned meat and poisoned drink...."

The poem goes on the tell how Mithridates prevented being poisoned by sampling a little poison every day to build up a resistance to it.

Can you help me find this poem?

WheresWaldo

A: Waldo-

It's "Terence, This is Stupid Stuff" by A.E. Housman. Google's amazing, don't you think?

- Cuddlefish
Question #53709 posted on 09/30/2009 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why is it that Hispanic peoples don't seem to feel the same disinclination to give their children the name of Jesus that pretty much all the other cultures do? Is it something in their culture? If I'm mistaken and there really are a lot of people of French, German, Italian, or other descent named Jesus (compared to the percentage of Hispanics so named), please correct me.

- just wondering

A: Dear just wondering,

We use the name "Jesus" for Christ, but his actual Hebrew name was "Yehoshua," which is where "Joshua" comes from. I bet you know a few Joshuas.

By the way, if you don't realize that Jesus and Joshua are the same name, you'll miss a lot of the symbolism in the Old Testament.

Love,
Waldorf and Sauron
A: just wondering-

It's actually a sign of respect, which is why you'll also see a lot of Marias and Juans. At least, it started out that way.

- Cuddlefish
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I believe last year Divine Comedy did an interpretive dance to the library music that is played frequently-it was one of my favorite skits because I was in the Library so much and would always hear the song. I was wondering if you could tell me the name of music they used for the skit.

- wanting to dance to the library music

A: Dear dancer,

I emailed my Divine Comedy contact with your question and received the following:
[Kirĸe,]

Your questioner might be asking about one of two things. I can't quite tell, so I will answer both.

Last year, we did an interpretive dance sketch titled "Requiem" that features a young couple falling in love only to be restrained by their friends. The sketch contains such moments as the young man's hands being symbolically bound with a video game controller, and ends with a lift sequence where the lady uses her engagement ring to ward off single friends. If that is the sketch you're talking about, then the song is "To Zanarkand" from Final Fantasy X.

Two years ago we did a sketch that deals with people in the library who are themselves dancing to the closing music. You might remember that sketch because a guy wearing a shirt that says ECON 110 symbolically kills another guy wearing a shirt that says "Med School." If that is the sketch you have in mind, you're looking for "Nothing Else Matters" by Apocalyptica.

Fondest Regards,

Gregory of Divine Comedy
Also, I'd like to note that I was all virtuous and asked over gchat for official permission to publish the above*. Conversation was as follows (orthography standardized):
Me: Hey, I assume I can post your answer on the Board, eh? I'm supposed to formally ask, as goofy as that is.

Gregory: I, Gregory Schulz, hereby give permission for the Hundred Hour Board (affiliate of Brigham Young University) explicit permission to publish, copy, distribute and otherwise make available my response provided to [Kirĸe] on September 26th, 2009. So let it be done.
So there you have it.

And I'd like to say how excited I am for the upcoming DC shows. All of you should be there.

~Ƥ. Ɗ. Kirĸe

*I'm assuming the permission to publish statement is recursive and thus also applies to itself.
Question #53705 posted on 09/30/2009 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Which hymns are most frequently sung with the wrong lyrics?

- It wasn't really so, but it seemed to BE

A: Dear It wasn't really so, but it seemed to BE,

Seven-year-old Black Sheep was often frustrated that people sang, "Given this land if they lived righteously" when the lyrics in the second verse are, "Given this land, if we live righteously." Yes, I was that annoying.

- The Black Sheep
A: Dear popcorn,

From "Have I Done Any Good in the World Today": "Then wake up and do something more than dream of your mansionS above..."

"Mansion" is singular, but I constantly hear people assuming that they are going to get a few mansions when the roll is called up yonder.

I always find myself singing "You who unto Jesus for refuge have fled" in "How Firm a Foundation" because that is the way I was taught. My dad didn't like the word change in the 1985 hymnbook. I guess I am not exempt from singing incorrect words. Well, heh heh, this kind of makes my wife mad, but I sometimes sing wrong words intentionally just for fun, but I never sing them too loudly for fear of being branded as sacrilegious.

Dr. Smeed
A: Be-

Due to my rather silly older siblings and their unhealthy influence on me, every time I sing "I am a Child of God," I am tempted to sing some perhaps less-than-reverent lyrics.

- Cuddlefish
A: Dear Cuddlefish,

My problem was my dad.

Noah was a prophet called to preach the word,
Tried to cry repentance, they gave him the bird.


Yeah. I actually sang that in Primary once, completely oblivious to what I was saying. There is also this family favorite, which my dad wrote in response to a version we had to learn to sing at one of my cousin's missionary farewells back when we still did those. My dad wrote the cannibalistic island version:

I looked out the window and what did I see?
Two Mormon missionaries coming to me.
Spring has brought my such a nice surprise:
Lunch has popped up right before my eyes!
I could take an arm and make a treat,
A missionary stew that would smell so sweet!
Boiled or baked or fried, or maybe fricasseed,
That burning in my bosom is the missionaries!


My dad has a lot more where that came from.

- The Black Sheep
A: Cuddlefish and TBS-

"Nephi's Vomit" was often a young-boy favorite at our Family Home Evenings. I'm sure our dad regretted coming up with that one.


Dear Let it Be-

In "Called to Serve," it's "praises unto him we BRING." Just because it's in a song and it rhymes with "king" doesn't mean the word is "sing" (which word choice would be best in the song is another matter, but the hymnbook stands).

For how much we sing the song, you'd think more people would know the right words. But then, nobody needs to read the rest of the words anymore, so I guess how well we know the song perpetuates the error.

-Foreman
A: Dear Foreman,

I will blow, I will spew
Big chunks all over you.


Oh, and let's not forget his other classic blasphemy, "Because I Have Been Wedgied Much:"

Because I have been wedgied much, I too must wedge.
To give you an atomic wedgie I must pledge.
I'll pull your undies over your head
and make you wish that you were dead.
Then I'll have my revenge on you!


Good times. Thanks, Dad.

-Claudio
Question #53703 posted on 09/30/2009 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I was reading through the archives and came upon this phrase that many of us learned in junior high school history; "The sun never sets on the British empire."

Here's my question: Since Great Britain still holds power in quite a few places, is this statement still true? If not, then if they had retained control of Hong Kong, would it have been true then?

I could easily map out where GB still occupies areas, but the whole sun setting thing is where I'd get really stuck.


- Pretending to be Gorgeous

A: Dear Great Pretender,

Right now, Britain has overseas territories on every continent, with only the exception of Australia. Here is a nice summary of the relationship between the setting sun and the British Empire:
It is actually said that the British territories are still scattered enough around the world that the sun still does not technically set on the British Empire. I believe that Pitcairn Island just about allows the sun to track over the Pacific Ocean and still be shining directly on administered British territory. Of course the sun never sets on the Empire on this website.
Here is a really nice visual of all the places where Britain still has power. Even if Hong Kong were still under British rule, the sun definitely sets on Australia. Of course, the real meaning of the phrase the "sun never sets on the British Empire" is that at any time there is a place where the British Empire holds power and it is daytime, so whether or not the sun literally sets somewhere is not the point.

-Mico
Question #53702 posted on 09/30/2009 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

K so my roommate here is in a predicament and she wants some advice from guys, particularly.
Let's say her name is Jessica. She met a guy, let's call him Michael, in one of her classes. He's shown genuine interest in her from the get-go, asked her for her number after three weeks of classes together, and took her to see a movie and out for ice cream afterward. He seemed to really like her, and she liked him a lot too.
A few days later, he invited her over to watch a movie with him and his roommates. In the middle of the movie, he reached over and held her hand, which she was very excited about. After a few minutes of holding her hand, he let go and put his arm around her for a while. After about 20 minutes of that, he withdrew his arm and didn't touch her for the rest of the night, even though there was about 45 minutes left of the movie. He didn't act in any way different than before--still flirting and joking with her, smiling, acted totally normal--but he did not initiate any further contact.
It's been almost a week since that night, and he's been texting her every now and then, flirting with her still in class, took her to lunch the other day, and took her out to dinner tonight, but he has not made any further moves whatsoever. Not even an attempt. She's quite confused, and I don't know what to tell her. She really likes him, and she thinks he probably likes her too (which I agree), but she's afraid that maybe he doesn't want to see her as anything more than a friend...? Men? What do you think? Why do you think he stopped holding her hand/putting his arm around her? Why do you think he hasn't made any more moves, but still seems interested? And what do you think she should do?
If it makes any difference (maybe it does), he returned from his mission a little more than 3 months ago... is he still weirded out by girls from the mish, or is it something else?
Thanks

- PamBeasley

A: Dear Pam,

Hmm, he's probably just confused about something or other. It may be the mission, but I've been home for about three months as well, and I have no problems with makin' moves.

Really though, just ask the guy what's up! Dating doesn't have to be this cloak and dagger game that everyone tries to make it. Turns out that communication in a relationship, even a fledgling one, is a GOOD thing. Even if it turns out he's not really interested in her anymore (which would make him either rich or uneconomical, considering he's still buying her meals and whatnot), wouldn't she want to know that right NOW rather than waiting until she's even more emotionally attached to him?

Just ask him what the deal is.

-Commander Keen
A: Dear PB,

I agree with Commander Keen. Asking him is the best way to go, if she's that confused. And it doesn't have to be in some kind of awkward, stereotypical DTR.

I think, personally, he likes her but doesn't want to move too fast. Maybe he got caught up in the moment while watching the movie, and then decided he should back off for a while. Why? Maybe it's the mission (though most people aren't that awkward this long afterward), maybe he doesn't want to rush things, or maybe he's thinking about dating a couple of girls and hasn't quite figured out who to actually go for. (Cognoscente pointed out that possibility while we were talking.)

Thing is, she really can't jump to any conclusions without finding out from him. She basically has two options: just wait and see what happens, or ask what's up. Both approaches are valid.

Good luck!

—Laser Jock
A: Dear Pam,

When I was starting to date my wife, I was completely enamored with her from the beginning. I thought she was fantastically attractive. Things were moving along extremely smoothly and I was realizing very quickly that I could see myself completely falling for her. I was also realizing very quickly that if things started to get physical too fast, it might mess up what could be the best relationship of my life (which, in point of fact, it has turned out to be). So I did my best to slam on the brakes, and I think it gave my (then) girlfriend some mixed signals. And, as these other writers have suggested, her solution was to straight up ask me what was up. The way she did it, though, was to very tactfully ask if there were some personal boundaries that I didn't like to cross so early on. I explained that the boundaries I felt we were coming up to weren't necessarily pre-existing (like, "no kissing till at least one month" for example), but rather I just wanted things to go well with this relationship. It was a good chance to talk things over.

Particularly with your friend's friend being so early off his mission, I can see him wanting to be extra cautious with his physical affection. Even though I would suggest talking to him about it, I think that the matter might just naturally resolve itself on its own.

- Rating Pending (who knows a guy who is five weeks off his mission and engaged to a girl he didn't know before. Yipes.)
Q:

Love,

Is it true that the Timpanogos Temple was built so that the individuals residing at the Utah State Developmental Center would have easy access to attend a temple (since they're right across the street)?

Love,
Turtlecake

A: Dear Turtlecake

No.

Before the Mount Timpanogos Temple was built the Provo Temple served all of the members in Utah County (including thousands of BYU students) as well as all of the missionaries in the MTC. The Mount Timpanogos Temple was built because the demand on the Provo Temple was beyond its capacity.

-Humble Master
Question #53671 posted on 09/30/2009 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What percentage of people living off campus have a meal plan? What is the most used plan among off campus residents?

- Curious

A: Dear Curious,

I emailed your question to the meal plan people, and here's the reply I got:

[Black Sheep],

The most common meal plan currently among off campus residents is the Diner's Platinum plan. As it's difficult to know exactly how many students live off campus, it's hard to determine a percentage of students.

As a side note, there will be a new off campus meal plan available to students beginning Monday, October 5: the EZ Dining meal plan. You may refer people to dining.byu.edu/mealplans for more info or to sign up.

Thanks,

Kyle Yetter
Coordinator
Campus Accommodations
There you have it. Big thanks to Mr. Yetter for getting back to me.

- The Black Sheep
Question #53622 posted on 09/30/2009 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

All else being equal, considering not only the process of conversion but also any social, familial, and other obligations:

Do you think it would be easier for a Catholic, a Protestant, an Agnostic, or a [insert other religion of note here] to join the church?

I ask because, when speaking to my Catholic friends rather than my Protestant ones, they seem a bit more accepting of certain parts of the church (e.g., the church's organization, with a Prophet at the head).

- Kyouhei

A: Dear Kyouhei,

This probably isn't as in-depth as your question deserves, but here are a few first impressions:

It seems to me that Protestants could have as much draw to the Church as a Catholic might: Protestants believe in a falling away from or distortion of the original truth that Jesus taught, they (more often) believe in baptism by immersion, and typically they place great emphasis on the Holy Ghost and the gifts of the Spirit. Other things that could be attractions to Catholics, on the other hand, are our consistent emphasis on rituals and ordinances and, like you mention, an appeal to divine authority endowed on church leaders.

But even with those points of potential theological common ground, it still seems that it would be easiest for many personal, familial, and social reasons, for an agnostic to be converted. It just seems to me that most people who are strongly religious are so because of their families and/or peers. Agnostics (and I know this is an under-researched generalization) don't seem to have the strong or developed sense of social unity that typically goes along with attending traditional religious services. I have seen how hard it can be for Catholics and Protestants to not only strive to be converted personally, but deal with the often powerful external influences of friends, family and community.

Additionally (and this is another generalization), if the typical agnostic mindset is "I don't see enough evidence one way or another," then it seems to me that an honest agnostic, seeking for that evidence, and not rejecting all religion out of hand, would be almost more willing to accept that which, while new and different, would have the evidence that they didn't see anywhere else.

- Rating Pending (who thinks that God is tremendously pleased with honest, sincere and devoted Catholics, Protestants and agnostics alike. And Mormons.)
A: Dear Kyouhei,

By definition, taking social and familial obligations into consideration will make things unequal. I can think of three different situations all else being equal that yield three different answers.

If all three grew up in an Irish (or Italian) heritage, the Catholic will have the hardest time. Catholicism is a part of their culture and identity. Conversion would mean being isolated from your family, not only because they might disapprove but because suddenly you've distanced yourself from the family identity.

If all three are outspoken academic scientists, the agnostic will probably have the hardest time since he's probably said some not so favorable things towards Christian religion. Converting would mean sacrificing his pride for changing his opinion, for suddenly believing in miracles, and facing the ridicule of his colleagues that he once participated in.

If all three live in a small town in Texas, the Protestant will face not only quotations from The Godmakers but every God-fearing citizen in town worrying for his immortal soul because they're sure he's headed toward fire and brimstone. Unfortunately, in many small towns they've already dismissed the Catholics and agnostics, but they expect a Protestant to know better. There's no escaping small town curiosity and overhearing whispers in the market of "... he had already heard the sweet, redeemin' song of mercy and forgiveness- it's them bicycle people, seducing good boys into serving the devil..."

Good luck talking to your friends, no matter their religion. You can never know who's the most ready to hear the gospel- my parents just went to the baptism of a kid I went to high school with who had long hair and black clothes and was in general rather intimidating. You just can't tell.

-Ineffable
Question #53510 posted on 09/30/2009 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

On the east side campus(approx 820 N 1000 E)I recently saw the BYU Botanical Gardens. This is a delightful space filled with a great variety of weeds, empty fields and unused folded bleachers. What is the history of this beautiful garden? When was the last time that other varities of plants (such as flowers and shrubs) were planted here? Are their any plans in the future to do anything with this garden?

- (Captain Cosmo)

A: Dear CC,

The horticultural gardens used to be used by the College of Biology and Agriculture for classes that dealt with botany, horticulture, and so on. The last year they were used, however, was a few years prior to 2004. As of 2004 they were using the terraced gardens south of the Benson building instead.

The horticultural gardens (and now the terraced gardens) were used by classes as a chance to practice landscape design techniques, learn about soil, and similar topics. The horticultural gardens were also used for research, but when they were forced to stop using the gardens those the samples were moved to a site in Spanish Fork.

The gardens do still occasionally get used; see, for instance, the 27 March 2006 issue of the Daily Universe [PDF], which included an article about a landscaping competition on the front page.

You can read more about the gardens in "Pond not only for matchmaking," published by NewsNet on 5 August 2004.

—Laser Jock