"Childhood obesity is a growing problem" -DU Headline

The results of the 2016 100 Hour Board Census are in!

One notable change: the Board Comment Board, brought to the readers by popular request.

Question #85428 posted on 02/10/2016 9:56 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How do you get to know someone better if they're in your neighboring city (Provo to Orem) and your don't have a car? I see them once a week but we don't usually talk much at the event. Since we barely know each other it seems a little weird to suddenly be like "DRIVE TO MY CITY AND HANG WITH ME!" or anything like that. Plus, I have no idea if they have a car and I don't. How do you become friends with someone like that?

sally hansen


Dear person,

If you barely know each other then probably the best place to start is by talking to them more at the event. Then once you know each other better and they/you ask for your/their number, you will be able to text or call them. Once you're at that point it probably wouldn't be too weird to organize other activities where you can meet up individually or in a group.


0 Corrections
Question #85427 posted on 02/10/2016 9:32 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Can you add "Faith means having the courage to pursue truth from any avenue." -Zedability to the quotes used on the home page?

My nombre here


Dear nombre,

We can, but it might not show up. It's been having some problems.

-An editor


Dear you,

Aww, thanks.

I wanted to expound on what I mean by that phrase a little bit.

Because I believe the Church is true, I'm not afraid of looking into tough questions. However, it's still important to do so carefully, especially if feelings of fear or pride are present. These can inhibit the Spirit. I've known good people with solid testimonies to be deceived by anti-Mormon material.

However, I firmly believe that when you look into hard questions, with an eye towards the bias of every source, you can find answers. Having faith that the Church is true means having faith that answers exist. They may not be available right now, but they are there, and someday when we see all things clearly, it will all make sense to us.

I've had experiences where a seemingly difficult question later strengthened my faith, as I found the answers and gained more appreciation for the complexity of history and the simplicity of the Gospel. It's easy to have faith in a church founded by seemingly perfect people. On the other hand, appreciating the extreme humanness of everyone involved in Church history only serves to strengthen my testimony that only God could have led the Church. It reminds me that the head of the Church really is Jesus Christ, and that God works through the weak things of the world and makes them strong. Similarly, it's easy to have faith in the things we implicitly assume from Primary onwards. However, looking into hard questions about Church history and the Book of Mormon has only taught me that there is an incredible historical richness and complexity behind it, which bolsters my testimony that it is a genuine ancient document. People use this complexity to present facts out of context that seem to contradict the truth. When we learn more facts, we instead see that there is no contradiction.

Every answer I find strengthens my faith that answers exist for other questions, too. And in cases where answers don't seem to exist, that is also an opportunity to strengthen my faith. It's good to not have all the answers sometimes. It gives the Spirit the opportunity to testify to you, and gives you the chance to exercise trust in God.

We always say that we believe the Church is true. When we have faith in the Church, we're not afraid of learning more truth. When confronted with hard questions, we should always feel free to exercise our faith and look for the answers, instead of exercising our faith and avoiding the questions.

I would highly recommend that everyone take a Religion C class from Michael McKay, who is one of the best people I know at illustrating how to do this without getting swept away by weird anti-Mormon sentiment.


0 Corrections
Question #85424 posted on 02/10/2016 12:38 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I have a health question. My favorite type of salt is the real salt brand, because it tastes better and has more potassium which I am really low on in my diet. I need to figure out how much iodine I need in my diet though, since the real salt doesn't have it. How do I find out how much I really need? My mom mentioned that seaweed has iodine, where is a good place near BYU where one could find seaweed?

-Miss Frazzled


Dear person,

The recommended daily iodine intake for an adult according to the Wikipedia is 150 micrograms per day. 

Both seaweed and seafood generally tend to be good sources of iodine, provided the animals themselves aren't deficient in iodine. Apparently plants grown in iodine-rich soil are also good sources, though I'm not sure how you would know. ("Excuse me, but were these plants grown in iodine-rich soil?") 

I used the Google to see where to get seaweed and it looks like Walmart offers it in many stores. You could also buy sushi. You probably don't want to do that every day, though.


0 Corrections
Posted on 02/10/2016 8:33 a.m. New Correction on: #85383 A recent question has led me to look at garments online. What is this natural waist? ...
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Question #85418 posted on 02/09/2016 11:35 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'm in a sort-of-not-really long-distance-relationship. If we were to hypothetically-but-probably-not one day get married, yet remain long distance for overly-vastly-long periods of time, can we still have a wonderfully-satisfying marriage? Do you know anyone who has made it work, or at least not-failed-grotesquely-and-horribly? A long-distance marriage, that is.

-The Hyphenator-inator


Dear Hyphens,

Some important questions to consider are how long are these periods of time away from each other going to be, and how frequent?

When I was recently born, my dad had to go on a work trip halfway around the world, and he was gone for six months. He got to come home every other weekend, but I can't even imagine how exhausting it would have been for my mother to be alone with several young kids and a newborn baby. They made it work, but it was tough, and I don't think either of them would do it voluntarily ever again. My dad actually went on a lot of work trips when I was young, and although none of them ever lasted six months again, and I never heard my mom complain, it wasn't easy for either of them. They missed each other, and it's hard spending a significant portion of your life away from the person you want to spend it with. Now, my parents' experience was not by any means a long-distance marriage, but looking at how much they missed each other even just on my dad's trips, I think it would be pretty terrible in an actual long-distance marriage.

I think being in a long-distance marriage would create a lot of problems. You would both be growing and changing on your own, instead of together as a couple, and Skype and facetime just don't measure up to pillow talk. And what about physical intimacy? Who do you come home to at the end of a long day and talk to? Throw kids into the mix and it gets even messier. Instead of being a loving, equal partnership, I think a long-distance marriage would devolve pretty quickly into something causing stress as you just try to match up your schedules so you can see each other.

I'm not saying don't marry this guy if the opportunity ever comes up. I am saying that if you get married, you should seriously consider one of you moving so you can live together. Yes, it would probably be a sacrifice, but isn't that what love is all about? If you're not willing to sacrifice your current location for the person you want to spend forever with, should you really be making that kind of commitment?

Sorry to be such a downer, this probably isn't what you want to hear. The decision is ultimately in your hands, but I would definitely recommend praying about it, and considering pros and cons of a long-distance marriage.


0 Corrections
Question #85417 posted on 02/09/2016 11:02 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What's the point of life if friendship is hard? Friendship is what's supposed to help you get through things when you're single and/or struggling. If connecting to your friends is difficult, or you struggle to be as close with them as they are to each other, or if you struggle to be happy for them when things go right for them, then what's the point? If your close friendships don't provide the sense of belonging and being needed that you desire, then what's the point of life? If I can't succeed at friendship, I'll probably fail at marriage (which sucks anyway) so it's not like I can count on that to bail me out. And besides, marriage isn't going to magically provide one person who somehow manages to perfectly fulfill all of my emotional needs. If marriage, family, and friendship aren't great, what's the point of it all?

-wasn't love supposed to be the point?


Dear You,

I'm sorry that this is so hard for you right now. It's hard not having emotionally fulfilling relationships, I know, but the good news is, that's not actually the point of life. Yes, it's wonderful, but it's not everything. According to Moses 1:39, the point of life is actually to prepare us to receive exaltation and eternal life. In other words, the point of life is to become like God. There's a quote from Elder Scott that I love:

When...trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more. He therefore gives you experience that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion, which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain.

I know it stinks to be struggling and hear, "But it's for your good! It will help you be better!" so I won't tell you that. But I will tell you to pray and ask Heavenly Father why you're facing this struggle. Find out what specific stretching you can do as a result of this situation to become more like God. Personally, when I have to face problems, it's much easier for me when I at least know why. It won't solve your problems, but it might give you the strength to get through them.

Don't give up on the future just because the past hasn't been everything you hoped for. The success, or lack of success, of past friendships doesn't dictate what future people are going to think of you. Keep a positive attitude, keep trying, and have hope that God will provide. Remember that if you feel friendless, Christ has been there before. You have great things in store for you, my friend, don't give up.



Dear you,

Even failed or fizzled out friendships teach you a lot about yourself.

I've had an unfortunate number of friends who proved repeatedly that they cared about me much less than I cared about them. But I certainly don't regret our friendship nor would I change anything if I could go back. Yes, friendship can be painful if people aren't there for you, but it's still worth it.

Just because you haven't had strong, fulfilling friendships in the past doesn't mean you can't have them in the future. For most of my adolescence I was stoic and perfectly happy being on my own. I didn't have any good friends who I could trust with my thoughts and feelings. It wasn't until the last year that I actually found true friends that I really trusted.

I think it's incredibly important for people to find fulfillment within themselves instead of relying on the opinions of others to measure self-worth. If you constantly seek happiness from others, you're constantly going to be disappointed, because very few people will ever love you as much as you deserve. There's only one person who will ever love you unconditionally and be there for you anywhere and everywhere you need, and the purpose of this life is to become more like Him.

Therefore, it is a wonderful feeling to be a true friend to someone, probably even more fulfilling than having such a friend. By being there for someone in need, you show a Christlike love, and such a characteristic is much more important to develop than anything else. You can find fulfillment, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual fulfillment, even if you don't get married or have any strong friendships.




Dear you,

Alta above pointed out that the point of life isn't really friendship, it's becoming like God. I'll take that as a starting premise and try to expand on it.

Here are a list of propositions I'll consider established, along with the one Alta gave us:

  • The point of life is becoming like God.
  • He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. (1 John 4:8)
  • Love is a feeling of deep devotion, concern, and affection. Love for God and fellow men is a characteristic of disciples of Jesus Christ (see Matthew 22:35–40; John 13:34–35; 2 Nephi 31:20). We manifest our love for Heavenly Father by keeping His commandments and serving His children. Our expressions of love for others may include being kind to them, listening to them, mourning with them, comforting them, serving them, praying for them, sharing the gospel with them, and being their friend. (True to the Faith)

So, it's pretty clear that love is definitely critical. Where I think the struggle here is is that sometimes we equate love with friendship. Because friendship involves love, we assume that if friendship isn't working out right now, love must not be present. Fortunately, that's not true.

Consider a parent of a teenager who's going through a rebellious time. the parent mourns the child's poor decisions. The parent lovingly chastens the teenager by taking steps the teenager hates (putting parental restrictions on a phone when the teenager starts staying up too late or using inappropriate media, taking away car privileges after the teenager attends a party where alcohol was present in violation of family rules, refusing to allow friends over before homework is done for classes where the teenager isn't passing, etc.) The teenager is not, at this point, "friends" with their parent. Many teenagers in this position will react to these parental actions with declarations about how the parents are "ruining their life" or "don't understand." So, friendship in some senses might be lacking. Love, on the other hand, is the motivation for the parents' actions.

Consider likewise a roommate you just don't have a ton in common with. You are kind to them, and you serve them when they forget to do their own dishes or need to borrow your milk, but you never really hang out and don't consider yourself to be particularly close friends. Well, you can still be showing love. 

So, that's kind of the first element here: if friendship doesn't seem to be working out right now, are you necessarily living a purposeless life? Nope. Your life may still have love in many ways, and friendships may be enduring a more difficult period (even a long one.)

Accepting that possibility, let's move on to address some of your other concerns.

Your questions:

What's the point of life if friendship is hard? Friendship is what's supposed to help you get through things when you're single and/or struggling.If connecting to your friends is difficult, or you struggle to be as close with them as they are to each other, or if you struggle to be happy for them when things go right for them, then what's the point?

If your close friendships don't provide the sense of belonging and being needed that you desire, then what's the point of life?

If I can't succeed at friendship, I'll probably fail at marriage (which sucks anyway) so it's not like I can count on that to bail me out.

And besides, marriage isn't going to magically provide one person who somehow manages to perfectly fulfill all of my emotional needs.

If marriage, family, and friendship aren't great, what's the point of it all?

Wasn't love supposed to be the point?

I see a few problems in here. Obviously, I don't know your situation, so it's totally possible that I'm misreading here. Please don't take offense if I identify from your short question problems you don't actually have. Here are some potential issues that I see. I'm going to try to use them to consolidate your questions into themes that are a bit easier for me to discuss.

Consolidated questions:

1) Why should someone maintain friendships if friendships are practically difficult to maintain?

2) Why should someone use friendship to meet their personal needs if friendships cannot fully meet those needs?

To me, these narrow down into one overall thematic question:

Root question:

What purposes is friendship supposed to serve?

I'm going to comment on that and hope that as we discuss it, we can work in answers to the more specific questions above.

Answer to Root Question:

I'm not a human relations specialist or a philosopher or anyone else particularly qualified to examine the overall meaning of friendship. However, here's what I'd propose: The purpose of friendship is to help us recognize, receive, and give love. We know from the above True to the Faith quotation that it's important for us to learn to give love, and that many of the ways we do that are often manifest in friendships (although we show them elsewhere too.) Likewise, in order for us to understand love (including the love of God for us that led to the Plan of Happiness and the love of our Savior that led him to atone for us), we need practice feeling it. We feel love in many ways. One way for us to feel love is friendship. As we give and receive love in friendships, we learn to better understand what love is and how to live in a loving way.

I think the answers to the other questions come from this: we keep trying for friendship because apart from having some of our needs met, we can also have a chance to learn and to help meet the needs of others (and to help them learn.) None of these things are going to work perfectly all the time, but even when one of them isn't working, we can still be trying for the others. This fits in with the overall plan of the Gospel: we can learn from, help, and receive help from all of our brothers and sisters, but ultimately the only One who can meet all of our needs is our Savior. He is one who will never abandon his relationship with us and who will always be there with us.

I echo the writers above: I'm sorry you're struggling, and I hope you can find hope in the love that is available in this world. It's not always available in the same ways, the same times, or from the same people, but we do have access to love, and that is a beautiful help to us as we grow. If you need people to talk to, especially during the time when it's harder to feel the love, feel free to email us.


~Anne, Certainly

0 Corrections
Question #85423 posted on 02/09/2016 10:38 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Can we do a Board genealogy of mentors/probies? M.O.D.A.Q. was my probie and Concorde was my mentor, but I actually have no idea about anyone else.

When did probies even become a Board institution?



Dear Doctor,

If you ask this again during Alumni Week, I can put together an even more complete family tree, which would be awesome.

But, I was able to get pretty far back as it is, even though it still feels kind of incomplete. Only writers who made it to full status were considered in the tree (except for The Skipper, since he's still around). I'll make a cleaner version next time around, but I kind of like the messy inelegance of this one.


Also, probies have been around at least since Pa Grape was an editor.

-Tally M.

0 Corrections
Posted on 02/09/2016 10:02 p.m. New Correction on: #85407 On my mission in Mexico, Elder Octaviano Tenorio of the Seventy came and spoke to us ...
Question #85422 posted on 02/09/2016 8:53 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What do you think was Gödel's constitutional loophole whereby the US could legally become a dictatorship?



Dear Vonnegut,

Popular consensus says it's Article V, which describes the process for adding amendments to the Constitution. Hypothetically this article could be amended, making the amendment process more lax. After it becomes easier to add new amendments to the Constitution, they could add amendments that would end up legalizing dictatorship. 

Fun fact: Speaking of governments with good constitutions becoming dictatorships, did you know the Soviet Union actually had a fairly extensive bill of rights? They just ignored it.


0 Corrections
Posted on 02/09/2016 7:55 p.m. New Correction on: #85338 I was on my mission when the BYU Valentine incident occurred, and only heard about it ...
Question #85410 posted on 02/09/2016 7:39 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Which foods have the best insulating properties? For some reason, I think cheese might be a good insulator because it's quite dense. I wonder if I cloaked myself in cheese, could I stay warm in a snowstorm? Could I also wrap my house in cheese in the event of nuclear fallout? Or maybe there is a more effective food for these purposes.

-Innovation at its tastiest


Dear IAIT,

Scientists usually assume that a vacuum is the best thermal insulator. In order to propagate by conduction or convection, energy needs a medium to travel through. Here's a practical example: nowadays, many windows are manufactured by pulling a vacuum between two sheets of glass; this decreases your rate of heat transfer by conduction and convection (though not by radiation). In this case, that would suggest foods that have very low densities. Cotton candy came to mind. The problem is that if you corrupt the vacuum, even with only a tiny bit of air, you've suddenly introduced a medium, so it's crucially important that the material can withstand as much of a vacuum as possible. If you were to try to pull a vacuum in a piece of cotton candy, it'd collapse. You could put it in between two sheets of glass and then pull the vacuum, but then it'd be more effective to skip the cotton candy altogether. Conclusion: trying to approach a vacuum probably isn't going to work with food.

The other consideration for thermal heat transfer is heat capacity. A material that can absorb more heat without rising in temperature will be a more effective insulator. That sometimes (though not always) corresponds to denser materials. In that light, your assumption that denser is better is probably correct, but we'll look at both measures.

Nuclear radiation is slightly different in that we're not talking specifically about energy in the form of heat. To block nuclear radiation, you need something either so densely packed or so thick that things like high-energy gamma rays can't get all the way through it without being absorbed. The outer layer of protection in most nuclear power plants is a three-foot thick wall of concrete, and that's just one layer. High density is going to be key in that case, while heat capacity will be less important.

I compared your suggestions with several I found online and a few from other writers and looked up their approximate densities and specific heat capacties (when possible) at room temperature. I don't claim accuracy, but it should be consistent enough for a basic comparison.

Solid cheeses, as per your suggestion:

  Density (g/ml) Heat capacity (kJ/kg*C)
Cheddar 1.098 2.77
Swiss 0.915  2.78
Muenster 1.098  
Hard parmesan 0.629  2.58


Some viscous liquids and similar substances suggested online: 
  Density (g/ml) Heat capacity (kJ/kg*C)
Molasses 1.424  
Honey 1.433 2.03
Chocolate syrup 1.268  
Almond paste 0.959  
Butter 0.866 2.40
Peanut butter 0.71  
Raw meats (suggested by Zedability):
  Density (g/ml) Heat capacity (kJ/kg*C)
Chicken 0.866 3.1 
Scup (fish) 0.915 3.6 
Beef round 1.09 2.18
Other random things:
  Density (g/ml) Heat capacity (kJ/kg*C)
Caviar 1.082  
Pickled Atlantic herring 1.22  
Raw oysters 1.048 3.83
Raw coconut milk 1.014  
Egg yolk 1.027 3.05
Wasabi 1.353  

For reference:

  Density (g/ml) Heat capacity (kJ/kg*C)
Concrete 2.403 0.88
Steel 8.05 0.49
Lead 11.34 0.128
Glass wool (fiberglass) 0.01 - 0.03 0.6 - 0.8 

There are other metrics you can use for this problem (think thermal conductivity), but I think this is a good start. So what have we discovered? 

If you're going for heat insulation (such as in a snowstorm), you'd want a high heat capacity. The best options I found belongs to raw oysters and egg yolks, though those sound rather difficult to handle. Similar idea with raw chicken and fish. In that case, I think your cheese idea might actually be one of the better options.

As for nuclear radiation, you want it as thick and dense as possible. In that case, you'd be best off coating your house in 6 - 8 feet of molasses or honey.

If you're interested in further research, I mainly consulted a paper published by the University of Parma, Italy, which I found detailed and instructive, and its references. Most of the densities came from this nifty food density calculator I found.

Interesting question! I doubted the cheese idea at first, but the numbers won me over in the end.


0 Corrections
Posted on 02/09/2016 7:38 p.m. New Correction on: #85383 A recent question has led me to look at garments online. What is this natural waist? ...
Question #85407 posted on 02/09/2016 6:18 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

On my mission in Mexico, Elder Octaviano Tenorio of the Seventy came and spoke to us about the power and importance of specific prayers. He gave some pretty cool examples and I remember being completely blown away by the concept. Unfortunately, I didn't take down much in my mission journals except "Elder Tenorio told some cool stories about the power of specific prayers -- I want to put this in practice!" and I can't find my mission study notebook where I probably put more details. However, I've talked to other missionaries who served in Mexico and they all heard the same talk from him. Do you know where I could find a transcript or a copy of that talk online? I've done some Googling but I'm not sure I'm doing it right.

Also, if you'd like to share your best/coolest specific prayer stories, I'd love to hear them!

-Siervo de Abraham


Dear you,

We're sorry, it doesn't seem like any of us have been able to find it. If any readers know where to find the talk, please post a correction. For cool specific prayer stories, please head over to the Board Comment Board.

Meanwhile, I have a cool prayer story. On my mission, we were teaching this young single mom, and one day we were texting her and she said that her baby wouldn't stop crying and she didn't know why. I suddenly felt really impressed that we should pray for her baby to stop crying, so I told my companion about it. She looked at me like I was crazy, but knelt down with me and I said a pretty basic prayer about it. At our next lesson, we brought it up, and it turned out that her baby stopped crying shortly after texting us.

I've always thought it was cool, because while she dropped us shortly afterwards, she did develop a strong testimony of the power of personal prayer and scripture study in her own life. In the space of about a year or two, she broke up with her abusive ex, got engaged to an awesome guy, had her second child survive some difficult health problems, and started regularly attending a local Protestant church. Her life is significantly better now, and she has a much better relationship with God. I like to think that her testimony of prayer helped with that.


1 Correction
Question #85383 posted on 02/09/2016 6:18 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

A recent question has led me to look at garments online. What is this natural waist? How is it different from the current waist? How will it be different from the lower waist? Also have any females tried to new tops?

-possibly going to the distribution center


Dear you,

Soooooooo, I was going to go to a distribution center and get new garments, but I haven't gotten around to it. However, from poking around online, it seems to me that the "natural waist" is designed to hit at the smallest point of your waist, whereas the "lower waist" is designed to hit above your hips, kind of like mid-rise jeans.

However, the current garments already come up to my natural waist (or sometimes higher), so I'm not entirely clear on what the difference is.

If any readers have tried these new garments and have specific information about their fit, please post a correction.


2 Corrections
Question #85420 posted on 02/09/2016 5:38 p.m.

Dear Sheebs,

Are you back?

-A fan


Dear person,

Yes, I am! BYU let me in and the Board took me back. I think this is exactly how Harry felt when he was accepted to Hogwarts and sorted into Gryffindor. I'm so excited to be able to write again!


0 Corrections
Question #85416 posted on 02/09/2016 2:20 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Would you like to do a social experiment?
This question comes with a story. In the JSB this week I was waiting for a class to start. Everyone around me was on their computers doing homework with earbuds in. In the midst of the computers one soul either had his headphones up too loud so I could hear it (which if it was that loud I feel sorry for his ears) or he didn't realize the headphone jack had come out. Then I was struck with this brilliant idea "how would people react to someone with music playing in a place where it is clearly not polite to have loud music?
So here are my terms and conditions (with allowance for your own personal time constraints). 1) Go to a crowded quiet place on campus like the JSB halls and play music from your laptop. The library is off limits it doesn't count. If you are truly daring play music in the testing center (but that could be cruel if the song is catchy). 2) There are several ways you could play your music. You could either play it loud, or pretend to plug in your ear buds and turn the music on, or if you have better idea go for it. We just want to get a reaction. 3) You could try a variety of different places with one song that is catchy or try one place with a variety of genres. 4) It will probably be good to have an accomplice who will code the reactions of people around you. 5) For things to code I would say; head lifts, direction seeking, prolonged stares, excuse me's' could you turn it down or put head phones in, and straight up turn your music off. 6)Return and report -- might even be cool if you could video record reactions.
If you are wondering yes, I have put more thought into this than my homework and yes, I am procrastinating my paper. Would you please give this experiment a go?
Now I am aware I am submitting my question when many have tests please don't rush it. I would like honest effort and honest results. I also would like for this to be fun.

Thank you for your time.

-Curiosity will kill this Cat


Dear person,

It looks like all of us feel uncomfortable doing this. Maybe it would have been fun to read about but it would be pretty unpleasant for everyone involved. 


0 Corrections
Posted on 02/09/2016 12:54 p.m. New Correction on: #85338 I was on my mission when the BYU Valentine incident occurred, and only heard about it ...
Question #85355 posted on 02/09/2016 11:56 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Physicists,

I was watching Star Trek The Next Generation the other day and noticed that their ship makes a lot of sound in space. I was thinking, "Maybe the warp engines spit out a lot of stuff temporarily changing the local vacuum to a high enough pressure to actually produce a sound. What's the minimum pressure necessary to be able to produce sound?

-Dallin VII


Dallin the Trekkie,

I'm going to be honest, putting together a physically sound quantitative answer to this question ended up being outside my capabilities. Hopefully a good qualitative answer fueled by hefty doses of idealization and assumption will do instead. Without further ado, here is what I gleaned from physics forums, and, of course, Wikipedia.

Just kidding, a little more ado first: sound is a compression wave, where energy can be thought of as being transferred when particles bump into the particles in front of them.

Second, the mean free path of a substance is the average distance a molecule can travel before bumping into another molecule. Ambient air on earth has a mean free path of 68 nanometers while a vacuum (like space) has a mean free path on the order of tens of kilometers.

Compression waves can propagate through any density of matter as long as the wavelength is significantly larger than the mean free path of whatever it's moving through. I wasn't able to find any quantitative information on what significantly means in this context, so we'll take it to mean 10 just for the halibut.

Compression waves with wavelengths between about 17 millimeters and 17 meters can be picked up by the average human ear as audible sound.

Using the table on this page and my earlier assumptions, it looks like pressures from .1 to 100 Pascals would be in the neighborhood of the minimum required pressure. This corresponds very roughly to .2 to 2 pounds per square foot.

The real question is this: how far away from the ship would the pressures drop too low to convey audible sound? Things to ponder...

Happy Trekking,

The Skipper

0 Corrections
Question #85415 posted on 02/09/2016 12:20 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Recently, I learned that my coworker, and somewhat friend (we've only known each other for 3 months), is a lesbian. Doesn't change my perspective on her whatsoever --she's just as cool, fun, smart, sweet, fair, talented, etc. That doesn't surprise me because, well, she's the same person. But my perspective on me has changed!! I've noticed that I'm now paying/taking more attention to my looks and apparel when I'm around her. I forgot to tell you I'm a female too. I know its normal to want to look your best in public (and some girls won't ever leave their house without makeup), but this is different. I choose my outfit or shade of lipstick with her in mind if I know I'll be working with her specifically that day. Is that a normal reaction/behavior when you find out that someone has the capacity to be attracted to me? Or is it revealing some deep-seated subconscious of mine?

-Freud friend or foe?


Dear you,

I think it's pretty normal to want people to be attracted to us. It's easy to get a boost of self-esteem from it, although it shouldn't be the basis of your self-esteem. It also gives us influence with people, although we shouldn't use it to manipulate. Long story short, human nature has a powerful incentive to try to be attractive to people, for other reasons than mutual interest. 

On the other hand, sexuality is pretty fluid, and even straight people can be interested in people of the same gender occasionally. So it could be some subconscious desire. 

Either way, I wouldn't worry about it. Nothing wrong with dressing up once in a while. 


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Monday, February 8, 2016
Question #85414 posted on 02/08/2016 11:26 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I was thinking today how Disney asking Mark Hamill to reprise his role as Luke Skywalker must have gone down:

DISNEY: Hey, Mark- how would you like to be Luke Skywalker again?

MARK: Wh- yeah! I'd love that! I haven't had a real acting job in years! What do I have to do for the role?

DISNEY: Nothing...you just stand there, and do...nothing.

MARK: Do I have a line?

DISNEY: No, no...you don't speak. Just stand there.

MARK: Just stand there-

DISNEY: That's right.

MARK: Not even a "Hello"?

DINSEY: You don't need to say that. Just don't make any noises at all.

MARK: What if Luke has to cough?

DISNEY: He doesn't.

MARK: Can I smile?

DINSEY: Luke doesn't smile.

MARK: I'm pretty sure Luke smiles-

DISNEY: He doesn't.

MARK: Well, what the heck am I allowed to do then?!

DISNEY: Nothing. You just stand there, and do...nothing.

Here's my question: how much was Mark Hamill payed to play Luke Skywalker in The Force Awakens?

-Jar Jar Abrams

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