"The praise that comes from love does not make us vain, but more humble."--James M. Barrie, author of "Peter Pan"

Check out Episode 9 of the Podcast to hear discussions about Church leader rumors and dating by Haleakala, Maven, and Tally M!

Question #78484 posted on 07/29/2014 10:06 p.m.
Q:

Dear ones, if any, who write in journals,

What would you estimate is the average number of times you've gone back and read any given entry?

-Ro

A:

Dear Ro,

I've been on a huge journal kick lately and I've been writing every single day, which is kind of impressive for me. My journal dates back to 2009, when I was a sophomore in high school and if I had to estimate how many times I've gone back and read any given entry, I would probably estimate it at around 25 times each on average, with some of my more important entries averaging at around 45 times each. Writing is very therapeutic for me, and my journal is something I want my future spouse and children to be able to read to get to know me better- to get to know who I was and how I grew up and matured.  

To be frank, I'm still getting to know myself better, so going back and reviewing my old entries and my feelings and thoughts is very important to me and I've been doing it a lot recently. Some entries make me cringe, some make me very sad for myself, but altogether I learn a lot from rereading them and enjoy it a lot. 

-Concorde

A:

Dear Time Lord,

Like Sheebs below, the number of times varies per entry. I fill up a journal about once every four months, so I'll usually reread most of my entries once or twice during that time period. I probably look at past journals once every four months or so as well, so it's possible I've read each journal entry on average at least ten times, if not more. It's hard to tell, though.

I'm actually transcribing my journals right now, though, and then putting them into Evernote and tagging them so I can reference them more easily when I need to.

-Tally M.

A:

Dear human,

How often I look back on old journal entries really varies from entry to entry. I try to write down all of the important conversations, insights, and experiences that I have, but some end up being more important than others. Most entries I only look back on once or twice when I'm flipping through. Others I find myself repeatedly going back to as needed.

-Sheebs

A:

Dear Paprika,

I don't know that I have an average, but I do a photo a day for my journal and it has been SO useful for going back and seeing what I was doing on any given day. I use it all the time. I've also tagged them and there are certainly a few subjects I revisit more often than others.

-Marguerite St. Just


0 Comments
Question #78504 posted on 07/29/2014 4:48 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I just finished watching the Veronica Mars series and movie and I really enjoyed it. I heard that there are books that continue the story. Has anyone read them or know if they're any good? I'm apprehensive of books based on t.v. shows since I read one of the Castle books and it was terrible.

-DoReMi

A:

Dear Marshmallow,

Currently there is only one book in the Veronica Mars canon. Anything else you read would be non-canonical*. The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line picks up after the events of the movie. As far as the quality of the book, I think that greatly depends on how much of a fan of the series you were. Like the movie, a great deal of the book is targeted to the fanbase that made the movie possible. Personally I loved the movie and the book but I can definitely see someone who was less passionate of a fan not enjoying them as much. Also, I will add that the book felt a bit different because it was told in the third-person. Because of this it seemed a little less Veronica-centric, which was disappointing. The A.V. Club gave it a B- and also mentioned mostly the same points I did. The book is available at the Provo City Library if you want to check it out.

-M.O.D.A.Q.

*I wanted to link to a clip from Bob's Burgers where Tina says "non-canonical" but I couldn't find it. It's a fantastic episode of the show, though.


0 Comments
Question #78378 posted on 07/29/2014 2:36 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

If all of the writers were forced to participate in the Hunger Games, who would win?

-President Snow

A:

Dear Doctor,

I had this first part written, and then life got really difficult. Or at least, more difficult than usual. So, I present The Board Games (and then a brief synopsis).

The cornucopia lay in the middle, ringed by twenty-three small platforms, each occupied by a writer. Some seemed hesitant, others confident. Still others seemed completely confused, almost seeming to wonder how they had ended up there.

The clock counted down, 28, 27, 26, 25...Tally M. had the thought flit through her head that it would be so much easier to just step off earlier, to avoid the terror. But the fear of causing her own death froze her to the platform.

3..2..1...There was a flurry of movement as the starting horn sounded. A handful of writers immediately took off for the woods, planning to return later to retrieve useful supplies. The rest scrambled towards the cornucopia. Stego Lily got there first, grabbing rope and knapsack and heading for a mountain on the north side of the arena. Concorde arrived next, taking what she could shove into a bag. Turning around she found herself face to face with The Soulful Ginger who soon found herself without a soul.

Yellow and CPM found themselves at the arena at the same time, heading for the wires and electronics that lay in the center and then hastily making for the woods. Divya and Canth took food and knives, joining up with Squirrel and Anne, who had managed to get a bow and arrows, in the woods.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

So what happens next? Well, Hobo gets killed by El-Ahrairah at the cornucopia, and Ozy kills M.O.D.A.Q. A number of people group off, forming alliances. Beyond the two groups already made, Tally, Maven, and Sheebs get together, while Owlet, El, Haleakala, and O'Malley meet up. The rest—Ozy, yay, MSJ, and TEN—all strike off on their own.

Yellow and CPM end up getting trapped in a forest fire and die. TEN and MSJ are both attacked by wild animals, and O'Malley drowns in quicksand that happens to be more vicious than actual quicksand. Squirrel, in an attempt to befriend what she thought was a squirrel, ends up spraying herself in the face with a deadly poison. 

Tally gets shot in the process of protecting Sheebs by Ozy, who misses a kill shot. Concorde, having joined their group, shoots Tally out her misery, and then proceeds to avenge Tally's death by taking out Ozy. El's group stumbles upon Stego, and while attempting to take her out, only Stego survives.

Maven and Sheebs end up poisoning themselves when they eat berries that were actually deadly. yayfulness makes the mistake of running into Anne's group. Divya and Canth are killed by a deadly virus released into the arena, which Anne apparently was naturally immune to. As a result of her immunity, she ends up getting trapped by the gamemakers and removed from the game for further study. However, they make it appear like she died via avalanche.

Down to Concorde and Stego Lily, the arena suddenly flickers out of existence as The Editors take control and begin the resistance with the three survivors.

-Tally M.

Yes, I know this was a bit of a cop-out. If you really want me to write this out, send me an e-mail and I'll see what I can do, though it'll take awhile.

A:

Dear Snow,

See also Board Question #71721, in which I behead Rating Pending.

-Owlet


0 Comments
Question #78490 posted on 07/29/2014 11:36 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I have a best friend. This person is not real, but is also not imaginary either. Who is it? It's the iconic unisex figure of the handicap placard. We be best pals and travel everywhere together!

Most disabled parking have a sign post and a portrait of my friend on the cement. (I have a famous friend!!!!! Their pic be everywhere!! Everyone knows my friend... which is why I get special privileges). It seems pretty standard. But I kid you not... one day, I stepped out of my car at the Macey Parking Lot in Spanish Fork, and the portrait on the cement of my friend was inserted upon the state of Utah. Meaning, it was the disabled icon surrounded by the boundaries of the Utah state. Why was this portrait so special? Why did it get to portray the state of Utah around the figure?

Can you tell me how many different official disabled/handicap figures there are? How creative can they get?

Why does the Macey Grocery Store Disabled Parking spot have a disabled icon in the state of Utah? Where else do they do that?

-Mumbo Jumbo

A:

Dear Mumbo Jumbo,

While there are two versions of the International Symbol of access, you can find a plethora of variations from a quick Google search. I couldn't find out anything about the Spanish Fork Macey's icon, but it could have easily been customized by Macey's. They likely did so to show Utah pride or to express the thought that Utah supports people with disabilities. I have no idea where else that version is used; if any readers have seen it, please comment!

-El-ahrairah

A:

Dear Mumbo Jumbo,

You might also be interested in this fascinating article about your friend's redesign. Although this symbol was formally adopted by the World Congress 1969, standardized by the International Organization for Standardization, and is often included in building code laws, it appears that it's not heavily regulated. I'm sure there are more variations than we could count; I know I've seen the Utah version in more than one place. More stringent restrictions are likely to exist the more "official" the building is. That is, government buildings, airports, etc. are likely to have stricter building codes and can't be as "creative" as supermarkets.

-Owlet


0 Comments
Question #78502 posted on 07/29/2014 8:12 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Do you think there's a relationship between a young lady's weight and how likely she is to get asked out in our little BYU bubble?

-The Exquisite

A:

Dear you,

Definitely. Anybody who suggests that body weight has no impact on attractiveness has clearly never left his or her bedroom and should promptly step outside into the wide world of vitamin D and dating.

-Ozymandias


0 Comments
Question #78495 posted on 07/29/2014 12:12 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Does the current president of The Church, Thomas Monson, speak directly with God face to face?

-Not-As-Special-A-Witness

A:

Dear Special,

That's a great question! The only thing we know for sure is that we don't know. President Monson has never publicly stated whether or not he has spoken with God face-to-face. He certainly could have done so if that were God's will. If that were the case, there would be many reasons President Monson wouldn't want to publicly announce it. Experiences that sacred should usually be kept personal, and I can picture a lot of people mocking our prophet if he were to make such an experience public. Obviously they have been made public at certain times in the past, because we need to know that such events occur. How would we know about the Restoration if Joseph Smith had never described any of his visions? But now we have much less need to know how God speaks than to know what he says.

Interestingly, President Hinckley answered a similar question in a 2004 interview with Larry King:

KING: You are the prophet, right?

HINCKLEY: Right.

KING: Does that mean that, according to the church canon, the Lord speaks through you?

HINCKLEY: I think he makes his will manifest, yes.

KING: So if you change things, that's done by an edict given to you.

HINCKLEY: Yes, sir.

KING: How do you receive it?

HINCKLEY: Well, various ways. It isn't necessarily a voice heard. Impressions come.

This agrees with the Guide to the Scriptures, which says that a prophet is a "person who has been called by and speaks for God. As a messenger of God, a prophet receives commandments, prophecies, and revelations from God. His responsibility is to make known God’s will and true character to mankind..." The revelation he receives "may come through the Light of Christ and the Holy Ghost by way of inspiration, visions, dreams, or visits by angels." In the end, it doesn't matter. Even if President Monson has never seen God, he is no less "special." Perhaps less interesting to some, but not any less able to communicate with God or to lead his Church.

-El-ahrairah


0 Comments
Monday, July 28, 2014
Posted on 07/28/2014 11:55 p.m. New Comment on: #78182 I was watching Monuments Men the other day... The potential was grand, but I'm afraid it ...
Posted on 07/28/2014 10:06 p.m. New Comment on: #78182 I was watching Monuments Men the other day... The potential was grand, but I'm afraid it ...
Posted on 07/28/2014 10:05 p.m. New Comment on: #78346 Dear 100 Hour Board Magicians, I like secrets. Don't deny it.... you like secrets too!!! I ...
Posted on 07/28/2014 8:46 p.m. New Comment on: #78485 Yo Board, I enjoyed Haleakalā's response to Board Question #78436 , but a few of the ...
Question #78499 posted on 07/28/2014 8:42 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why does the Communications Carrier Assembly (CCA, also sometimes called Snoopy Cap), the cap that astronauts wear inside their helmets, have two microphones, one on each side of the astronaut's mouth?

-Jeb

A:

Dear Governor Bush,

Have you ever stuck your head in a fishbowl? Legally I think there may be some restrictions against me recommending that you go find a fishbowl and stick your head in it so I am not telling you to go do that right now. I repeat, do not stick your head in any fishbowls. However, imagine now that you did do this ridiculous task of sticking your head in fishbowl. What would it sound like? I imagine it would sound something like what wearing a space helmet would sound like.

The interior of an astronaut's helmet is very good at reflecting sound waves, thus causing the astronaut's head space to fill with a fair amount of echoing, much like sticking your head in a fishbowl which... wait, you didn't do that, right? I was pretty clear that I was not endorsing that. These echoes make for a serious problem in recording an astronaut's words. With just one microphone, there is no way to distinguish between the original sound and its reflections. The way to overcome this is to use an array of microphones. The array also helps overcome the issue that spacesuits, surprisingly, are not quiet. The CCA actually contains four boom microphones for this purpose. The signal is processed and is able to identify what an astronaut is saying amid the noise (yes, pun intended).   

-M.O.D.A.Q.


0 Comments
Question #78486 posted on 07/28/2014 8:42 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I've always been somewhat of an insomniac in that it takes me a long time to fall asleep. When I was single and childless, I would try to just stay up late enough that I could more easily fall asleep and stay asleep rather than lay awake for hours. Now that I have a baby, I really need to go to sleep early enough to get the rest I need so I can be up with her in the morning (or in the middle of the night!).

A few of my friends and family members have suggested that I use melatonin to help me get to sleep faster. I've tried it a couple of times and it seems to be helping at least somewhat but I have two questions. Bearing in mind that you are not doctors:

1. Is taking melatonin on a somewhat regular basis going to cause my body to stop producing it naturally?

2. When my baby inevitably wakes up at 3 am and needs to be soothed back to sleep, I'm finding myself awake for about an hour afterwards trying to get back to sleep. Do you think the melatonin I took at 9 pm has any effect on how long it's taking me to fall back to sleep? And how can I get back to sleep faster?

-Late night thinker

A:

Dear Nocturnal Rodin,

You're right. I'm not a doctor. However, I also suffer from insomnia and have learned a bit about melatonin because of that. There have not been a great deal of long-term studies on melatonin so not a great deal is known about its long-term effect. Supplementary melatonin is supposed to stimulate the body's natural production of melatonin in order to shift its circadian rhythm. Because melatonin production in your body can be stimulated or suppressed through light, I doubt that taking supplementary melatonin would cause your body to stop producing it altogether. That being said, since the function of supplementary melatonin is to help shift your sleep cycle, you will likely not have need to take it once your sleep cycle is where you want it to be (although some people have reported experiences with improved sleep quality from melatonin as well).

Being unable to fall back to sleep doesn't sound like it is caused by your melatonin. People more commonly report day-time grogginess from melatonin use than inability to fall asleep. People's bodies are different and there are many different causes for sleep-related problems. There is no panacea for insomnia and you will likely have to try several different ideas (hundreds of which can be found on Google) before you find the one or ones that work for your body. The best suggestion I have for you, though, is to discuss this with a doctor (which as I mentioned, I am not). You should talk with your physician before taking any supplements of any kind (including melatonin) to discuss the possible risks. If your insurance covers it, I would recommend seeing a sleep specialist. They can help you identify the cause of your sleeping problems as well as target specific solutions to overcome them.

-M.O.D.A.Q.


0 Comments
Question #78485 posted on 07/28/2014 7:06 p.m.
Q:

Yo Board,

I enjoyed Haleakalā's response to Board Question #78436, but a few of the individual questions were left unanswered - basically all of them in the 3rd paragraph. I'm specifically puzzled by "would the "Big Three" wedding turn into the "Big Four" wedding?" I have no idea what this is even asking; could someone enlighten me as to the lingo here?

-Johnny

A:

Dear Johnny,

Truthfully, I have no idea what "big three" wedding are (and it seems most Board Writers don't either), so I can't comment on the cultural implications of seeing them turn into "big four" weddings. 

I skipped the third paragraph only because I thought it didn't really apply since my answer was that such a broad ruling from the Supreme Court was very unlikely. A reader gave good perspective in a comment about civil marriage in Brazil.

If the Church really is barred from performing legally-binding marriage ceremonies unless they also accept the marriage of couples of the same gender, I think they would do away with the year long waiting period for a temple sealing after a civil marriage. Truthfully, I don't think the cultural changes would be that huge. I think that what receptions are now would become the civil marriage before. I think you would also see the civil marriages become a little more extravagant, because they carry a little bit more "weight" now.

Of course, this is all assuming that the courts simply rule that the Church's temple sealing ceremonies are no longer legally binding marriages. If the courts actually rule that the Church can't even perform sealing ordinances, (a result even less likely than the one we've been discussing) the cultural impact would be huge. Members would likely travel to Mexico or Canada for marriage.

- Haleakalā

A:

Dear Johnny,

After some searching, I can only conclude that "big three wedding" is a phrase particular to that questioner's dialect of Mormon vocabulary. I would wager that it means something along the lines of the the three significant events involved in an LDS wedding: sealing, reception, and...I'm not sure what the last one is. Hypothetically, it could be anything from those mentioned in Board Question #78415. At any rate, adding a required civil marriage would then make it a "big four."

-Owlet


1 Comment
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

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

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

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

Any famous art pieces that have extraordinary WWII stories?

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

Did they hide archaeological artifacts?

--Artifice Thief

-My Name Here

A:

Dear human,

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

Neuschwenstein Castle

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

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

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

Famous Art with Extraordinary WWII Stories

Ghent Altarpiece by Hubert and Jan Van Eynck

board1.png

(outside of altarpiece)

board2.jpg

(inside of altarpiece)

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

The Astronomer by Vermeer

board3.jpg

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

Winged Victory of Samothrace

board4.jpg

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

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

Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo Da Vinci

board5.jpg

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

Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci

board6.jpg

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

David by Michelangelo 

board7.jpg

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

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

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

Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia

 board8.jpg

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

Les Jeunes Amoreux by François Boucher

board10.jpg

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

Missing Art/Restoring Damaged Art

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

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

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

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

Portrait of a Young Man by Raphael

board11.jpg

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

Gold Portait by Gustav Klimt

board12.jpg

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

The Camposanto

board13.jpg

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

Archaeological Artifacts

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

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

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

Salt and Copper Mines

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

If You Want to Know More...

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

-Sheebs


2 Comments
Question #78500 posted on 07/28/2014 5:18 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'm moving to SLC in a few weeks...and I've been dating a guy exclusively for about a month. It's not super far, so I feel like it's not a typical "long distance" relationship...but it's a lot farther than the 2 minute walk from each other we currently enjoy. What advice do you have for us? Our relationship isn't super "solid" (we've only been seriously dating a month after all), but I think it has a lot of potential, and I'd hate for it to fall apart just because we can't see each other as often as we'd like.

If you were in this situation, what realistic expectations would you have? What would be unrealistic?

(Sorry if you end up just linking me to the archives...)

-MNH

A:

Dear MNH,

That sounds a lot like the situation my wife and I were in when we were dating. She lived in Pleasant Grove and I was in Provo, so the distance wasn't quite as far, but I think most of the same principles apply.

I think one of the most important things you can do is establish a strong foundation of non-face-to-face communication. You'll need it. For us, it was emails and later texting/Facebook messaging. Once we were further on in our relationship, we'd call each other on a fairly regular basis too. Of course, nothing can replace face-to-face interaction completely. But you're not going to be able to have as much of it as you do now, and you need to be able to compensate.

If at all possible, establish one day of the week (or a decent portion of a day) that you can spend together, every week, unless something big comes up. That sort of regularity was a bit of a lifesaver for me, and I think it's a wonderful anchor for this sort of relationship.

Also, be prepared to make more sacrifices for each other than you'd otherwise have to. Sooner or later, you'll probably have to make an impromptu late night trip to visit him and help him with something, or vice versa, because he needs you or because you need him. If you can't do that, you probably can't make the relationship work. This isn't about slacking on your responsibilities, of course--if you have to work, then you have to work, and barring a serious emergency your boy can wait. I'm not talking about sacrificing necessities. I'm talking about sacrificing personal convenience. If you want your relationship to work out, you will have to do a lot of inconvenient things. This is true of any relationship, really, but I think it's especially true in cases like this.

Is physical distance in a relationship stressful? Absolutely. But it certainly doesn't have to mean the end of a good thing. If you like this guy enough to be dating him, then by all means, keep seeing him and keep working with him. It worked out for me. It can work out for you, too.

If you have any more questions or want advice on anything, feel free to email me at yayfulness(at)theboard.byu.edu. My inbox is always open.

-yayfulness


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Question #78479 posted on 07/28/2014 1:24 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What do you do if you just cannot respect a priesthood leader?

-I need righteous priesthood leaders

A:

Dear Basil,

It depends on so much. The BIG question is why do you not respect the priesthood leader? Has he done something contrary to gospel teachings? If so, you should seek a private meeting with a priesthood authority who is over the one you don't respect. If it's a bishop, talk to the stake president; if it's a stake president, talk to the Area Seventy, etc. Is it something frivolous, such as he likes the U and you root for BYU? That's then a problem of your attitude. Is it because he's unkempt? You should judge a person by his heart. There are just too many reasons. I guess I would say that the first thing to do is to search yourself and see if you have a truly legitimate reason. We've all had some bishops we've liked more than others, but I've liked all of the bishops I've had in some way or another. Some I've really, really liked. When there are others I haven't liked as much, I assume they were called to help someone other than me and that I need to change my attitude, which, I will be the first to admit, is not always easy. 

-Marguerite St. Just

A:

Dear Reader,

I must take issue with three fundamental aspects of your question. The first is the idea that you "just cannot respect a priesthood leader." That's not true. God commands us to respect all of His children, including Priesthood leaders. We are also commanded to respect the authority that our Priesthood leaders hold. God will never give us a commandment that is impossible. If necessary He will strengthen us so that we can obey. That doesn't mean that obedience will be fun, easy, or come immediately even after great effort. It does mean that it will always be possible with God's help. If you are honestly seeking to give any of God's children the respect they deserve, I know Heavenly Father will help you because respecting others is a worthy goal.

Second, you mentioned that you "need righteous priesthood leaders." That's not true either. I mean this in the nicest possible way. Kind, righteous, wonderful priesthood leaders are a great blessing. But if your righteousness or desire to participate in Church is dependent on other people's righteousness, you will often walk away disappointed. We are commanded to obey our Priesthood leaders. Only Jesus Christ lived perfectly, which means that God gave this commandment fully understanding that the Priesthood leaders He was instructing His children to follow would be imperfect. Even knowing this, God commanded our obedience anyway.

Third, your pseudonym implies that the priesthood leader you are struggling to respect was not righteous. (Maybe that was an unintentional implication, and if so I apologize.) You have no way of knowing that. Only God is qualified to determine someone's righteousness. Perhaps you don't know the full circumstances surrounding your Priesthood leader's actions. Even if you are confident your Priesthood leader has made a mistake, so what? So has everyone else.

I know that Heavenly Father will help you in this difficult situation as you seek His help.

Good luck!

- Haleakalā


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Question #78494 posted on 07/28/2014 12:30 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I have snuck into the Board lair and left you that starry bag on the floor. Inside, you will by now have found a silver token with a curious design engraved on it. I will save you the time of researching it: when thrown into the maw of a man-eating tunnel worm, it will swap the minds of the thrower and the tunnel worm for a period of 24 hours, after which both individuals revert to their natural states and the token rematerializes within the starry bag. Will you please allow yourself to undergo a period of wormhood and report on your findings?

-Witch of our Order of Researching Minds

A:

Dear Witch,

it is cold

it is wet

i ate something today

i think it was a human

it tasted funny

it is still cold

it is also still wet

why do i even live here

when do i get to go back

i miss having feet

no one will ever love me

-Concorde the worm

A:

Dear human,

I am a tunnel worm. Unfortunately my central ganglion doesn't allow for enough cognitive function for me to have meaningful thoughts. 

-Sheebs


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Question #78482 posted on 07/28/2014 10:48 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

My favorite Dateline reporter happens to be Keith Morrison. When he asks someone a question, gets a response, and says it back in his own words, he says so sarcastically (it really sounds like). He also gives looks to the people he's interviewing that they're stupid. It's quite comical. How did he learn to report the news or to give interviews with an underlying tone of unbelievability? Was he trained to do this or is it just the way he's always talked?

-Sage

A:

Dear Sage,

Although I didn't get a chance to interview Keith Morrison, his impressive biography suggests that much of his ability comes from years of experience and refining. Most important, however, is likely his own personality. Sure, he needed to develop his sarcasm, but it didn't pop up out of nowhere. It's simply who he is and who he's become, and the audience loves it. No amount of training can give sarcasm that artistic to someone without any to begin with.

-El-ahrairah


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Question #78493 posted on 07/28/2014 10:48 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What are your biggest pet peeves in dystopian novels? (YA novels or adult novels; just specify which you're talking about if it makes a difference.) What makes a dystopian novel worth reading? What makes it boring? What makes you want to throw it across the room?

-sheeple

A:

Dear Sheeple,

Back in ye olden days I was a big book reviewer. Big enough that publishing houses sent me boxes of books to read and review. One summer they sent me a huge box full of all of the good dystopian novels coming out that summer and I spent a lot of time reading and reviewing hordes of these books. My main complaints centered on how unrealistic they were. As Maven mentions below, all of the adults are stupid, and the teens are somehow the only ones who can magically see what's really happening and are the only ones who can stop it from happening and there's always a love triangle (which is where I usually want to chuck the book against my wall). 

Like, hello? Does anyone else see a problem here? You are 16 year old female (or male, although most main characters are female from my experience). Why aren't you worrying about your period, or acne or boys or homework? Yeah, I get that you live in a dystopian world and that the whole point is that you probably had to grow up fast and those things might be lower on your radar, but ain't no way in heck you're going to manage to completely bring down the oppressive government with your two lovers (Side note: Love triangles do not exist in real life unless you are in a polyamorous relationship. In reality, it would be more like a triangle with one open side, since it's two characters liking one character, instead of each character liking the two others in the "triangle") because everyone else was too stupid or scared to help. 

You will, however, probably get shot in the face, especially since most dystopian characters are written with all of the innocent naivete and emotional fierceness and instability of an ornery toddler. There should be way more dying in dystopian novels than there actually is. Also less hope and love and cutesy stuff.

Also, luckiness: I read one dystopian novel where the protagonist literally escaped every possible bad thing just in the nick of time. It was so irritating. I like when the protagonist has been gravely wounded and is weak for once or can't find a run-down house to shelter in for the night, or makes a mistake and gets caught and just totally ruins everything without being able to fix it. I can relate with being weak and unable or unwilling to fight back. I can't relate or see the story from inside the head of a noble hero with a hole of personality that can be filled with whatever the author wants him or her to be at that exact moment in time. And for crying in the mud! You aren't going to always find something to eat, or just be barely able to scrape by and keep it together. You will fail, you will break down and despite all your hard work, you are not going to magically transform from an awkward, geeky girl into a gloriously fit wood nymph who is capable of changing society singlehandedly. 

I mean heck, people get scared and back down and run away and let their emotions get the better of them all the time. A dystopian setting would amplify that, if anything, so perfect protagonists get to me. Things get hairy in dystopian novels. I want to see you make a bad decision that you can't magically worm your way out of. I want to see some blood. 

-Concorde

A:

Dear Wake up, Sheeple!

Realism. Specifically, the realism of the downfall and salvation of the world. I hate it when a single instance of disaster leads to the immediate and complete demise of society. People are smarter than that! The government is smarter than that! Sure, it's not too hard to believe that a majority of people could die or catch some horrible disease or be enslaved by some government, but I have too much faith in mankind to believe that said disaster will incapacitate everyone. Everyone, that is, save a single group that alone has the chance of saving the day. Likewise, I can't stand it when a single person or action magically brings down the dystopian society. Things aren't that simple. The bad guys wouldn't be that dumb. In conclusion, I agree with Concorde—no mortal should be "capable of changing society single-handedly."

-El-ahrairah

A:

Dear Sheeple,

Technology.

It's not even that the technology is unrealistic, because I get that this could be the future where humanity has had time to learn and develop new things. It's just that it's always so frustratingly convenient. Right at the point where all is lost - maybe not at the end of the whole story, but certainly at the end of some chapter or sub-plot - the protagonist suddenly remembers some device that he/she was introduced to in the first few pages that will save his/her life.

I mean really.

- Haleakalā

A:

Dear sheeple,

First, I hate love triangles. I know I've ranted about this before, but if the world is ending, you probably don't have time to fall in love with one person, much less two. Basically, if the story is more about a love triangle than the sad, frustrating state of the universe, I have a problem with that.

Second, I dislike worldbuilding that doesn't make sense. The worldbuilding is so important in a dystopian novel. If the world or society has become a dystopia, there has to be a realistic reason this happened, not something ridiculous that isn't actually possible or doesn't make sense. At the very least the dystopia has to be interesting and well-developed. You can't take a rudimentary understanding of science and abuse it to make a dystopia. You can't overhaul every social convention and expect the world to function. In fact, I just read a YA dystopian sci-fi where people have been divided into classes named after colors and they all have predetermined jobs and stereotypical personality traits. I don't see this ever happening in real life, so I didn't like that part of the book.

Thrid, when one person (usually a teenager) can somehow save the world despite crazy odds and advanced technology against them. Sorry, not gonna happen. Why are adults portrayed as such idiots in YA dystopia? They're all old and set in their ways and somehow they lack the necessary courage or forward-thinking mindset to be capable of changing the world. What makes a teenager more motivated and qualified to save the world? That's something I like about The Hunger Games. For the most part, Katniss isn't trying to save the world. She's just trying to survive, and she can be selfish and petulant, like a real teenager. She doesn't even know half of the things the adults are planning, but she's being used as a piece in their master plan. That's realistic.

A dystopia is worth reading if the circumstances surrounding the world's downfall could conceivably happen and if it makes me think about today's society and value it, despite its faults. Two books that do a really good job of this are The Giver and Brave New World

I don't want to keep this answer any longer, but if any readers want to chat about dystopian novels, please email me! I love talking about books, and especially dystopia.

--Maven


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Question #78478 posted on 07/28/2014 10:42 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How does one change their beliefs or values?

For example, I like expensive new cars. I have a working car, but I want a new one. When I look for a new car I value the style, the brand, the top speed, and many other things that I really don’t need, but I value them and want them. Having a top speed of 140 MPH is not needed, but I want it. I don’t need four wheel drive, but I want that in a truck. If I could afford it I would buy a car that costs more than my house. I watch Top Gear and read about cars often. I also see the cars others drive. It seems that I am not alone in valuing things in cars that are not really needed. An entry level 4x2 Ford F-150 truck is $25,000, but you can get a 4x4 F-150 model with accessories that costs $50,000. I would be embarrassed to get the 4x2 model. I probably would not get all options I looked at to bring the model up to $50,000 either, but it is much closer to what I want. I spend many hours looking at cars that I just can’t have. I sometimes feel that I am judged by the car I drive and am not a valuable person because I don’t own an expensive car. OK, that last but was exaggerated, but I would be happier with an expensive car in my driveway.

The car is just an example. It can be money, looks, power, intelligence, or other things that are not necessarily bad, but also not necessary after a point. There was a study done once that showed that a certain amount of money was necessary to be happy, but beyond that the extra money did little to affect happiness. From reading the board I get the feeling that too many people put too much value on good looks, but that could just be me.

There are some things that I just don’t have a problem with. For example shoes and fashion in general. I own three pairs of shoes. One pair for church, one pair for work, and the previous work pair for working in the garden. I wear three different pairs of pants to work. All are the same color. I shower and change my socks, shirt, and underwear every day though.

So how do I change the beliefs and values I have that I think are bad for me? I think this becomes much harder living in a world where I see so many others valuing the things that I feel I should not value.

- James May

A:

Dear James May,

The long-term value we give something is a result of the accumulated value we give to it at all instances. In other words, you can't just decide, "I don't care that much about cars" if you consistently give them your time and thoughts. So how do you change your thoughts? First, deliberately change your actions—don't look up fancy car catalogs, etc. Use thought exercises to avoid thinking about cars. When you find yourself thinking about cars or how much you need a good one, think about something else. Prayer can help you focus on what's more important to you at these times. I've also heard snapping your wrist with a wristband can be effective at avoiding thoughts. Replace these thoughts and actions with different, positive ones. Spend those hours you would be looking at cars doing other, healthier things you enjoy.

Your observations greatly affect your thoughts and values. Like you said, it's much tougher when you see so many others valuing the same things. So hang out with people that don't. Make friends with others who have a totally different perspective on cars. Pay attention to people you value who don't have expensive cars. Discover what makes them so happy and successful. Then, where applicable, spend time and effort on those same things in your own life. As you replace your undesirable habits of thought and action with better ones, you will realize how much more important the latter are to you. You will spend more time thinking about them, and the cycle will continue.

Owlet offered another thought: when you think about how you value something, focus on the root of why you value it. Why is it important to you? For an expensive car, the root needs may be transportation and acceptance. Once you've realized that, you can focus your attention on those basic needs. You'd make sure the car you do have gets you places, and you'd note things you can do besides get nice cars that would result in more acceptance from others. She also recommends reading Board Question #77839 because it has great advice on how to change your beliefs by looking at others' perspectives.

Good luck!

-El-ahrairah


0 Comments
Question #78469 posted on 07/28/2014 8:36 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

It hasn't been very long since I finished Young Women's, and I don't currently have plans to go on a mission or get married, but I'd like to be really ready whenever the time comes for me to go through the temple. So, what would you guys recommend I do now to prepare?

-reverse procrastinator

A:

Dear Merry Galel,

I actually have a lot of thoughts on this, as this is something I've been thinking a lot lately. However, I'll attempt to condense them for you.

I believe one of the best things you can do is study those covenants you've already made and the ordinances you've already participated in up to this point. Make a careful study of your baptismal covenants

While it's on the Youth section of lds.org, the "How I Prepare for Temple Ordinances" page has been useful for guiding my personal study. 

Do your family history, even if you feel it's difficult. Going to the temple really has two parts: actually going to the temple, and finding your ancestors to do work for. Finding them and doing their work allows them to progress, and until that work gets done, they will be unable to do so.

Go to the temple and do the ordinances you can do. Do baptisms and confirmations as often and as regularly as your schedule will allow.

Many, if not all, bishops will require temple prep before you go. Some wards may do this on a "only if you're going soon" basis, but I know that in my ward, anyone who wants to go, can. It's basically an overview of the "Preparing to Go to the Temple" which is a shorted version of President Packer's "The Holy Temple."

Most importantly, be receptive to the Spirit in your personal scripture study and prayers. It will be able to guide you to know what is most important for you to focus on.

-Tally M.

A:

Dear inverter,

I've spent a while talking this question over with my wife, and one of the first things we agreed on was this: Temple prep classes, while good classes, do absolutely nothing to prepare you to go through the temple.

It's easy to go to the temple for the first time and expect a dramatic, life-changing revelation of deep or secret doctrine. I can promise you, that is not going to happen. Some people learn a lot the first time they go through the temple. Some people learn almost nothing the first time. But I've never heard of anyone learning anything totally new--it's always building on something they already knew.

Most of the endowment ceremony falls into one of two categories, ordinances (which I'll get to shortly) and instruction. Here's the thing--literally all of the instruction given in the temple is given through allegory or symbolism. It is a story rather than a sermon. The possibilities for learning are immense, but the burden is almost entirely on you to interpret it. Nobody else is going to interpret it for you.

If I had to recommend something to prepare you for that part of the endowment, I'd say you should study the book of Moses. If you're familiar with that book, then while the endowment will present you with a new perspective on the story, you will see a lot of very familiar elements that will help you as you begin to interpret it.

Interspersed in the story are the ordinances of the endowment. To prepare you for that portion of the endowment, I recommend studying the Sacrament. I have yet to find anything in the world that is a closer parallel to the endowment's ordinances and covenants, both in form and in function. Learn what covenants mean. Focus on the one-on-one relationship between you and God that such ordinances are based upon. Learn about ordinances in general.

It's easy to think, after going to the temple for the first time, that you have stepped into an alien and unfamiliar world. In fact, there are a lot of things that are very familiar about what is taught and done in the temple. It's just that you have to become familiar with the temple in order to see how similar it is to everything else.

I'm glad you're trying to prepare to go to the temple. That's a good thing. Just remember, though, that the best preparation for going to the temple is living a good life. Going through the temple isn't, and shouldn't be, a dramatic change in your life. Rather, it's just one more step in a steady progression of learning line upon line and precept upon precept. I hope this helps you, and I wish you the best!

-yayfulness

A:

Dear reverse procrastinator,

You may also like some of the advice given in the archives, particularly Board Question #19549 and Board Question #56501.

-Owlet


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

Dear 100 Hour Board,

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

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

-Alternate World

A:

Dear Alternate,

There would be so much less water! In the world we live in, 71% of it is covered in water. With this alternate earth, only 29% of it would be water. Would this water be fresh water or salt water? If it were all fresh water, then that would be awesome for industry and development in this world, because there would be so much more usable water! However, if it were 96.5% salt water (like the water that covers this earth), the peoples' lives and cultures would be significantly different. Would people have evolved in such a way as to allow them to drink salt water? So much could change just based on this one thing!

Also, because most of the earth would be covered in land, travel would probably be made more difficult as well. Even if there were planes, large amounts of goods from one area probably wouldn't be shipped by plane, but would have to go across land more often than not, which would make trade slower (probably) and possibly more expensive. 

Sincerely,
The Soulful Ginger (who personally prefers living in a world where 71% of the surface is covered in water, not land) 

A:

Dear fictionist,

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

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

inverse world high elevations.jpg

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

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

Now, the geography of this world.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-yayfulness


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