Whenever he thought about it, he felt terrible. And so, at last, he came to a fateful decision. He decided not to think about it. ~John-Roger and Peter McWilliams
Question #90080 posted on 07/15/2017 2:50 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So I was playing with toy cars with my son Twist yesterday and a question occurred to me. When I take a toy car in my hand and zoom it as fast as I can through my arm's range of motion, how fast is it actually going? Does it travel that very short distance as fast as a real car would or much slower?

-Inverse Insomniac

A:

Dear Inverse,

Quite serendipitously, I was visiting my parents in Rubikland when this question came in, so I had access to toy cars with which to conduct my research. While looking for my old Hot Wheels, I also found these old toys, which I thought I'd share with y'all:

IMG_1808.JPG

First, we have Hoth Luke Skywalker and Endor Han Solo, along with my A-Wing calculator. That's right: an A-Wing calculator. Can you conceive anything more nerdy awesome? I didn't think so.

IMG_1806.JPG

Here we have a couple of Bulbasaurs. I was going to take the plush one with me when I went back to Provo, but then I realized that it is Cadet Rubik's and my plush was a Squirtle. I couldn't find the Squirtle. I was sad.

IMG_1810.JPG

Mère Rubik calls this set "Cool Tools." I have no idea if that's what the actual brand of toys was called or if she just thought they were really cool. I suppose we'll never know.

Lastly, we have one of my most favorite toys...

IMG_1811.JPG

...the Thing. I do not know what this thing is. It is made of solid steel and is fairly heavy. I remember that I picked it up one day and thought it was cool, but that's all I know about it. When I had it out for this answer Père Rubik saw it and said "Oh, hey, it's that thing." I asked him what it was. He said that he didn't know, but he had randomly received it from someone long ago. So we still have no idea what the Thing is. If a reader could tell me, with convincing proof, what exactly the Thing is, they would have solved a lifelong mystery for me and I would certainly owe them ice cream.

Alrighty. On to the cars:

IMG_1795.JPG

These cars were ultimately deemed unusable for the experiment, but I have fond memories of them and wanted to share them with y'all. The dark green racer (second from left) is from 1987! The lime-green racer next to it (in the middle) is from 1982! These cars are 30 years old! It's incredible. 

Here are the cars I used for my test:

IMG_1797.JPG

From left to right, here are the models of the cars:

Car #1: Ferrari F50

Car #2: Ferrari 156

Car #3: Dodge Viper GTS

Car #4: Renault Formula One Racer (I couldn't find any more specifics on exactly what kind of Renault F1 it is)

Car #5: BMW Z3

Now, how do we tell how fast they're going?

First, we measure my arm, from fingertip to shoulder. It's about 30 inches long. Next, I measure how high off the ground my arm is when I'm sitting on the ground, ready to race. That's about 25 inches. Using the Pythagorean Theorem, I find that the horizontal distance from my shoulder to the car in my hand is about 16.5 inches.

This last measurement is very important. For the test, I'll be moving the cars back and forth in a quarter circle, from when my arm is straight out to my side to where it's pointing straight in front of me. The distance it will travel is the radius of that circle (16.5 inches), multiplied by Pi, and divided by two. That distance ended up being right around 26 inches.

Now, for the actual test: I need to find out how long it takes me to drive the car through the quarter circle. This would be very hard to time if I were just doing it once, so I decided I would drive the cars back and forth as fast as I could for 30 seconds so as to get a nice sample size from which I could calculate the time for a single run. Here's how each car did:

Car #1: 74 "laps"

Car #2: 80 "laps"

Car #3: 84 "laps"

Car #4: 88 "laps"

Car #5: 89 "laps"

For the most part, I thought it was a pretty good method, but I did identify a couple of issues. For one, as you can see, the number of "laps" each car ran in the 30 seconds increased every time. I was actually worried that the opposite would happen; I figured that my arm would get tired and that I wouldn't be able to move it as fast, so in between each run (besides the last two) I took a break to work out calculations and eat hummus with pita chips. Apparently, that worry was unfounded. The only other issue was that a couple of times during the testing I had to start the runs over because I was so excited making the cars go vroom Vroom VROOM that I lost count of how many laps they'd gone.

To even things out, I averaged the number of "laps" between the five cars, and found that it was 83. Now, if a car can travel that distance 83 times in 30 seconds, then it can traverse it one time in 30/83 = 0.361 seconds. If we divide our distance of 26 inches by this time, we find that the car is traveling 72.068 inches per second. Making the conversion to miles per hour, we find that, on average, the car is traveling (drumroll, please)...

...

...

...

4.09 miles per hour.

Yeah, I know. It's a little underwhelming. I thought it would be faster! If your arms are longer and you're able to get the same number of "laps" (or more), it'll be a little bit faster, but not by much. 

But, we're not quite done. We've been looking at how fast a two-inch car can travel 26 inches; what if we scaled up the car and the distance up to real-world values, but kept the time the same? Or, in other words: if there were a little tiny man sitting in the cars we were driving back and forth, how fast would he think he was moving?

To find out, we multiply the distance of 26 inches by the factor that each car is scaled down by. It's different for each car; let's look at the BMW, which is at 1:57 scale. We multiply 26 inches by 57; that's 1484.78 inches. As before, we divide that by the BMW's time, which was 0.337 seconds. That's 4404.837 inches per second, or, in other words...

...

...

...

250.275 miles per hour!

The good folks at Quora tell me that a single engine plane like a Cessna flies at a speed somewhere around 130 miles per hour. Therefore, since your toy car is moving at nearly twice that speed (from it's perspective), it is completely logical and rational for you to pick it up off the ground and make it fly. We want to be scientifically rigorous, after all.

---

Thanks for the question! Have fun with your kids!

-Frère Rubik

P.S. For kicks, here's my scratch paper for this question, which contains all of the individual car times/speeds. If you're having trouble reading it and want to know the specific numbers, feel free to shoot me an email.

paper fixed.jpg

Question #90069 posted on 07/13/2017 6:13 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I found Lehi in the book of Judges! How many names in The Book of Mormon are unique only to The Book of Mormon?

-My Name Here

A:

Dear you,

Abstract: 76.0-78.4% (160.5 ± 2.5 out of 208) of unique Book of Mormon toponyms and anthroponyms are not found in the Bible, not counting references to places and people also referenced in the Bible. Including individual instances of repeated names changes the ratio to 71.9-74.6% (205 ± 5 out of 280 ± 1). Uncertainty stems from ambiguity in differentiating individuals with identical names in similar time periods and doubt as to whether variations on names found in the Bible are Biblical or unique to the Book of Mormon.

Method: The researcher skimmed the entire text of the Book of Mormon in one afternoon, looking for capitalized words and determining, based on previous familiarity with the text, whether each toponym and anthroponym described a unique place or individual from those previously found. Each name was searched for in the Gospel Library app to determine whether it could be found in the Bible or not. Names for people and places referenced in the Bible (i.e. Moses, Abraham, Egypt, Babylon, Jesus Christ, etc.) as well as names of people not found in the Bible but supposedly contemporary to Old Testament prophets (Zenos, Zenock, and Ezias) were not included. Additionally, Gazelem was not included in the analysis, as it seems to refer to Joseph Smith and not any person in the Book of Mormon.

Results and Discussion:

45 unique names describing 71-73 people and places in the Book of Mormon are also found in the Bible. The complete list can be found in Appendix A of this document. The uncertainty stems from the names Lehi and Aaron, both of which could describe three or four different people, because the people named were alive around the same time. Some believe that Lehi, son of Zoram, named in Alma 16:5, is the same as the captain of the Nephite armies during the Amalickiah/Ammoron war. Additionally, the possibility exists that the Aaron mentioned in Moroni 9:17 is the king of the Lamanites mentioned in Mormon 2:9.

158 different names describe 202 different people and places in the Book of Mormon that are not also found in the Bible. The complete list can be found in Appendix B. The most common names in this group are Nephi and Laban, each of which belong to four people and one city/land. Over the course of the Book of Mormon, the frequency of Biblical names decreased. That is, the further into the Book of Mormon one goes, the more likely a name is to not be found in the Bible. This is to be expected, as the Nephite language evolved and grew further from the Hebrew spoken by the Jews over the centuries. 

Five names belonging to six people and places (Appendix C) were questionable as to whether they were Biblical or not. Those names were Isabel, Jershon, Josh, Sam, and Sidom. The name Isabel is not found in the Bible, but the origin of the Romance-language group of names (Isabella, Isabelle, etc.) is the same Hebrew word translated to English as Elizabeth. Jershon, the land where the Nephites let the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi (and later the Zoramites) live, is very similar to the name of Moses' son, Gershom. The name Gershom appears to mean a sojourner there, which is fitting for a place of temporary respite for refugees until they are able to move on. Josh and Sam both appear to be shorter versions of the Biblical names Joshua and Samuel. Finally, Sidom is very similar to the name of the river Sidon. There is evidence that the -om and -on endings in Nephite/Jaredite names are somewhat interchangeable. The strongest case for this is Shiblon/Shiblom from the book of Ether. When Moroni puts forth the genealogy of Ether, his name is recorded as Shiblon in Ether 1:11-12. However, in Ether 11, his name is repeatedly written as Shiblom. For this reason, it's impossible to know if the name of the land of Sidom was the same as the name of the city of Sidon, or if the Nephites distinguished those names.

Conclusion: Only about one out of every four names in the Book of Mormon is also found in the Bible. As expected, names found later in the Book of Mormon are less likely to be found in the Bible as well.

-The Entomophagist

Appendix A: Names found in both the Book of Mormon and the Bible

  • Aaron (three or four people and a city/land)
  • Aminadab (one person)
  • Ammah (one person)
  • Ammon (two people)
  • Amos (two people)
  • Antipas (hill)
  • Benjamin (one person)
  • David (city/land)
  • Enos (one person)
  • Ephraim (hill)
  • Esrom (one person)
  • Gad (city/land)
  • Gideon (one person and a city/land)
  • Gilead (one person)
  • Gilgal (one person, a valley, and a city/land)
  • Helam (one person and a city/land)
  • Helem (one person)
  • Heth (two people and a city/land)
  • Isaiah (one person)
  • Ishmael (two people and a city/land)
  • Jacob (three people and a city/land)
  • Jared (two people)
  • Jeremiah (one person)
  • Jerusalem (city/land)
  • Jonas (two people)
  • Jordan (city/land)
  • Joseph (one person)
  • Joshua (city/land)
  • Judea (city/land)
  • Kish (one person)
  • Laban (one person)
  • Lehi (three or four people and two city/lands)
  • Lemuel (one person)
  • Levi (one person)
  • Midian (city/land)
  • Nimrah (one person)
  • Nimrod (one person)
  • Noah (two people and a city/land)
  • Ramah (hill)
  • Samuel (one person)
  • Seth (one person)
  • Shem (one person and a city/land)
  • Sidon (river)
  • Timothy (one person)
  • Zedekiah (one person)
Appendix B: Names unique to the Book of Mormon
  • Abinadi (one person)
  • Abinadom (one person)
  • Abish (one person)
  • Ablom (place)
  • Agosh (plains)
  • Aha (one person)
  • Ahah (one person)
  • Akish (one person and a wilderness)
  • Alma (two people)
  • Amaleki (two people)
  • Amalickiah (one person)
  • Amaron (one person)
  • Amgid (one person)
  • Aminadi (one person)
  • Amlici (one person)
  • Ammaron (one person)
  • Ammonihah (city/land)
  • Ammoron (one person)
  • Amnigaddah (one person)
  • Amnihu (hill)
  • Amnor (one person)
  • Amoron (one person)
  • Amulek (one person)
  • Amulon (one person and a city/land)
  • Angola (city/land)
  • Ani-Anti (one person)
  • Anti-Nephi-Lehi (one person)
  • Antiomno (one person)
  • Antonium (one person and a city/land)
  • Antipus (one person)
  • Antum (city/land)
  • Archeantus (one person)
  • Cezoram (one person)
  • Chemish (one person)
  • Cohor (three people)
  • Com (two people)
  • Comnor (hill)
  • Corianton (one person)
  • Coriantor (one person)
  • Coriantum (two people)
  • Coriantumr (three people)
  • Corihor (two people and a city/land)
  • Corom (one person)
  • Cumeni (city/land)
  • Cumenihah (one person)
  • Cumorah (city/land and hill)
  • Emer (one person)
  • Emron (one person)
  • Ethem (one person)
  • Gadiandi (city/land)
  • Gadianton (one person)
  • Gadiomnah (city/land)
  • Gid (one person and a city/land)
  • Giddianhi (one person)
  • Giddonah (two people)
  • Gidgiddonah (one person)
  • Gidgiddoni (one person)
  • Gilgah (one person)
  • Gimgimno (city/land)
  • Hagoth (one person)
  • Hearthom (one person)
  • Helaman (three people)
  • Helorum (one person)
  • Hem (one person)
  • Hermounts (wilderness)
  • Himni (one person)
  • Jacobugath (city/land)
  • Jacom (one person)
  • Jarom (one person)
  • Jashon (city/land)
  • Jeneum (one person)
  • Kib (one person)
  • Kim (one person)
  • Kimnor (one person)
  • Kishkumen (one person and a city/land)
  • Korihor (one person)
  • Kumen (one person)
  • Kumenonhi (one person)
  • Lachoneus (two people)
  • Lamah (one person)
  • Laman (four people and a city/land)
  • Lamoni (one person)
  • Lehonti (one person)
  • Lib (two people)
  • Limhah (one person)
  • Limher (one person)
  • Limhi (one person)
  • Luram (one person)
  • Mahah (one person)
  • Manti (one person and a city/land)
  • Mathoni (one person)
  • Mathonihah (one person)
  • Melek (city/land)
  • Middoni (city/land)
  • Minon (city/land)
  • Mocum (city/land)
  • Moriancumer (place)
  • Morianton (two people and a city/land)
  • Moriantum (city/land)
  • Mormon (two people and the waters)
  • Moron (one person and a city/land)
  • Moroni (two people and a city/land)
  • Moronihah (two people and a city/land)
  • Mosiah (two people)
  • Mulek (one person and two city/lands)
  • Muloki (one person)
  • Nehor (one person and a city/land)
  • Nephi (at least four people and a city/land)
  • Nephihah (one person and a city/land)
  • Ogath (place)
  • Omer (one person)
  • Omner (one person and a city/land)
  • Omni (one person)
  • Onidah (hill and place)
  • Orihah (one person)
  • Paanchi (one person)
  • Pachus (one person)
  • Pacumeni (one person)
  • Pagag (one person)
  • Pahoran (two people)
  • Riplah (hill)
  • Riplakish (one person)
  • Ripliancum (waters)
  • Sariah (one person)
  • Seantum (one person)
  • Sebus (waters)
  • Seezoram (one person)
  • Shared (one person)
  • Shelem (mountain)
  • Shemlon (city/land)
  • Shemnon (one person)
  • Sherem (one person)
  • Sherrizah (tower)
  • Shez (two people)
  • Shiblom (one person)
  • Shiblom/Shiblon (one person)
  • Shiblon (one person)
  • Shilom (city/land)
  • Shim (hill)
  • Shimnilom (city/land)
  • Shiz (one person)
  • Shule (one person)
  • Shurr (valley)
  • Siron (city/land)
  • Teancum (one person and a city/land)
  • Teomner (one person)
  • Tubaloth (one person)
  • Zarahemla (one person and a city/land)
  • Zeezrom (one person and a city/land)
  • Zemnarihah (one person)
  • Zenephi (one person)
  • Zeniff (one person)
  • Zerahemnah (one person)
  • Zeram (one person)
  • Zerin (mountain)
  • Zoram (three people)
Appendix C: Names very similar to Biblical names but with different spelling
  • Isabel (one person)
  • Jershon (city/land)
  • Josh (one person and a city/land)
  • Sam (one person)
  • Sidom (city/land)
Question #89931 posted on 06/18/2017 11:50 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

One thing I noticed while attending BYU was how the number of times a girl gets asked out on dates correlates exponentially with physical attractiveness. One friend of mine has a very cute face and an hourglass figure. Men flock to her. Her whole time at BYU, she averaged three dates a week and had a least a dozen men actively pursuing her at a given time. I also had a moderately attractive female friend who averaged one date per month. Not a ton of action, but she did end up dating one of them seriously and last month they got married. Finally, I know another young lady who isn't that good-looking at all. She attended BYU for five years and never got asked out once. Of course, there are plenty of outliers to this phenomenon: being outgoing and flirtatious drastically increases a woman's chances of getting asked out too.

I recently described this phenomenon to a friend and fellow BYU alumna, and she said boys were too shallow. I told her that, to a great extent, physical beauty is a choice. Women can make themselves more appealing by getting in good shape, because being overweight or obese is a huge turn-off for men. She thought for a second, and told me "honestly...I think that's mostly just true for Mormon boys. I've dated non-members before and they never cared about a few extra pounds." I've since discussed this same topic with other female YSAs and they agree: LDS men have an undo fixation with physical fitness when it comes to dating in marriage.

Have any of you noticed this phenomenon? What do you think causes it?


A-DAWG





A:

Dear person,

When I was an undergrad, I went on one date a semester, although sometimes I went on two or three, maybe four. I am/was "overweight", but for a few years during an undergrad I had an eating disorder that made me thin. I dated much less when I was thin, a change which (so people told me) made me conventionally very attractive. Perhaps I would have dated more if I wasn't totally sick in the head. Who knows. As it turns out, I can't get into a "normal" weight range without doing things that require me to be mentally and physically very, very ill. This is likely due to the fact that I was quite obese until I left home, at which point I lost a lot of weight just by virtue of not having my family's habits anymore.

So, basically, next time you tell someone that "to a great extent, physical beauty is a choice" and that "women can make themselves more appealing by getting in good shape, because being overweight or obese is a huge turn-off for men," I hope you realize that you are talking about many things you don't understand.

-Sheebs

PS - If you are a troll, and I think there is a good chance that you are, I regret spending all that emotional energy and vulnerability on feeding you. However, hopefully my answer is meaningful to other people out there who doesn't say insensitive things just to get a rise out of people.

Question #89906 posted on 06/16/2017 12:02 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I read this article today. (For readers who don't want to click on the link, it argues that members of the Church cannot be LGBTQ allies without supporting or condoning serious sexual sin.) What do you guys think about it?

I'm interested in your reactions generally, so feel free to talk about whatever you want to. But I'm asking in part because I feel like I'm sort of at a crossroads. I personally support the legalization of same-sex marriage; I even find myself hoping that the Church will someday embrace it the way it has embraced the extension of the priesthood to all races, although I know that's a fairly remote possibility. But at the same time part of me feels like this article has a good point, that I cannot hold such an opinion without directly contradicting God's will as revealed by Church leadership.

Is there a way around that?

-conflicted

A:

Dear you,

Disclaimer: Not reading the article, though I think I've at least seen it before, if not actually read it.

How do you want to define "ally"? I mean, if we want to look at it from the standpoint of people who are really socially conservative, then they might say that the Church is "allied" with the LGBTQA movement because of things like this or this (and they might consider being an "ally" to be problematic.)  By contrast, others' definitions of "allyship" are going to vary drastically, and that's not something unique to this topic.  

For example: there are certain 'sects' of feminism who, because of my stance on abortion, would not consider me an ally to the cause of feminism (see also: things that frustrate Anne, Certainly). Similarly, an openness to consider certain restrictions on unlimited gun rights (e.g. concealed carry permitting requirements, background check requirements, etc.) can easily get one kicked out of the camp of "2nd Amendment defenders" by the definition of certain organizations or their members. A willingness to consider 'clean coal' as a viable part of the gradual transition to sustainable energy will to some mean that a person is not an ally of the environment.

So: Pray. Listen to actual counsel from the leaders of the Church, and limit as needed credence paid to the non-doctrinal and sometimes straight up wrong opinions of random people on the internet (and in real life). Consider how loving God and your neighbor should lead you to act towards a certain situation. Recall that a primary purpose of the Church is to help you become a person who can recognize and implement God's will in your life. Then do that stuff. Don't get too stressed about what people are going to label you, because people can get really unhelpful when it comes to determining who gets to use that label. While some labels may be self-defining, many aren't.

Good luck,

~Anne, Certainly

Question #89892 posted on 07/13/2017 10:50 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

When I ask people about what qualifies for someone to be mature, I receive answers that make me believe that maturity is a very subjective quality. What do you guys consider to be requirements for someone to be considered mature? Are there any aspects that you as a board could reach to a consensus on? Please share!

- Hello, my name is…

A:

Dear Francisco,

You asked for a consensus, so I did a survey. 

I should note before we get into this that this was not a great survey. Which I can say because effective surveying is a big part of my major and I've taken some classes on how to create them. And then I threw all that out the window and made this. Anyway, it is what it is. 

Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 5.45.59 PM.png

Some comments:

-The two bottom responses go along with general life experience listed above; I just didn't phrase things well in the prompt. That puts the top factors as (1) Failure, (2) Age, and (3) Life experience. 

I like how failure seemed to be the most agreed upon determining factor. I don't think it by itself constitutes someone to be mature, but if lessons are learned and taken in stride it certainly can. 

-One respondent added the category of social groups. This falls in line with that one quote that Dan Clark likes to say: "[W]e become the average of the five people we associate with the most." I think this is both true and not. It is more likely that we'll be/act more mature if our main social group is more mature, but I think the phrase puts too little weight on the inner processes and strength of the human psyche. It also seems to minimize the strength of independent thought. 

-Some options that received no votes were place in the family and relationship status. 

More results:

-Out of 10 responses, 3 writers felt they were mature, 1 above average for their age, and the rest were in the "Somewhat-Kinda-Ish" spectrum, including one "I consider myself as striving to be mature, but ultimately still lacking." 

-What made them mature: foresight, accountability and responsibility, taking in account multiple perspectives, independent thought, awareness. 

-Who/what is immature: certain political or academic leaders, impulsiveness, lack of understanding or appropriateness, lack of perspective, disrespectful, need for constant external stimulation. 

-I particularly liked these responses in answer to "What do you personally define as mature?"

  • Someone who will determine what needs to be done and take the steps needed to do it.
  • Wisdom from life experience, true empathy for many people, capability for independent thought
  • Personally I define it as being able to put yourself in the perspective of others and act with others in mind, not just yourself. Also being able to handle (more meaning effectively understand/cope with) your emotions and not let them control you.
  • The ability to control emotions appropriately, see the other side of an issue, and take a long-term view when considering a situation. And acting accordingly.

More comments:

The patterns I see from the responses are mainly self-acceptance and self-awareness, which then extends to acceptance and awareness of others. Self-acceptance is not to say complacency in oneself, but more an understanding what you're working with; not denying what or where you are in your current stage of life. Self-awareness is taking a more objective look at your personality, strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, motivations, etc., especially (but not always) in relation to the world around you. 

The ability to do these effectively seems to be directly influenced by self-control, and perhaps that's what we learn most in failure. I think when we fail, we can't have security in much else and we are able to control little else than ourselves; we're forced to figure out what that means and what we can do about it. 

In that sense, maturity seems to be having "the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference" (source). 

On the Board (and in life), yayfulness has been a really good example to me for maturity. He's always shown proper respect and sobriety for matters that needed it, but also enjoys quality humor. He's skeptical of others' claims and even sometimes of himself, and he understands that emotions don't need to rule or define us but can be used as tools. Of course, there are many other writers who have similar traits, but I've been noticing it a lot lately with yay and felt like he deserved a shoutout. 

I hope this helps answer your query. 

Take care,

-Auto Surf

posted on 07/14/2017 1:43 p.m.
I deleted my answer without Anathema noticing, so for completion's sake: I tend to associate maturity/immaturity with self-confidence, ergo a person with low self-confidence will likely be more desperate for the approval of those around them, and thus will act more immature. I didn't post it because further thought made me think that there were other factors at work and I didn't have the time to look into them.

Peace y'all,

-Frère Rubik
Question #89888 posted on 06/17/2017 12:02 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'm trying to figure out when the statue of Brigham Young just in front of the Smoot building was built. Can you help me out?

-Lee

A:

Dear layseph,

Are you ready for an adventure? Okay then c'mon vamanos. 

I first turned to the trusty internet. This Daily Universe article from 1999 explains:

"This statue was built by Mahonri Young, Brigham’s last grandchild to be born before he died in 1877. He is cast in bronze and stands seven and a half feet tall and weighs 1,300 pounds as he keeps his watch on a four foot square block that weighs 7,000 pounds. (Holy cow)

The Brigham Young statue was originally designed for “This is the Place Monument.” It had Brigham Young and both of his counselors standing in front with Young’s arm resting on the shoulder of one of his counselors. His hand was changed for the statue standing on the south side of the Abraham O. Smoot Administration Building."

(parenthetical phrases added)

So it's good. But it does not say when it was built. I had to keep going.

Deeper in the internet, the artist's Wikipedia page says he was commissioned for "This is the Place Monument" in 1939, so we can safely say it was done between then and 1957 when Mahonri Young died. The Wikipedia page for "This is the Place" says it was dedicated in 1947, so we've taken the window from 18 years to 8, but that's still a pretty big window. Unacceptable.

At this point I figured I should check out what I could find on campus. Maybe it had a plaque that you missed? 

Nope. The plaque just had the birth and death dates of Brigham and Mahonri Young, which I already knew from the internet. Drats. 

But I was already on campus so I figured I might as well use the resources that were there. Maybe the Smoot building would hold the key. I only knew that OneStop exists there, and I didn't have a lot of hope for them knowing the statue's history, but maybe they would know someone who knows. 

"Alright, I've got a good question for you," I told Spencer, the desk attendant. As I explained the predicament, he soon came to agree that it was indeed a good question. He knew the Smoot building was built in 1961 so he thought it might have been done then, but I pointed out that the sculptor died in 1957, so the timeline didn't fit. (You may see the flaw in logic here, but we'll get to that in a moment.) Spencer looked around on his computer, but when the internet failed him, too, he made a call to his supervisor. 

"Hey [supervisor]," he said. "I've got the most wonderful question for you." (I appreciated that.) The supervisor didn't know either, but he recommended the Wilk Info Desk. I had less faith in them (no offense Wilk Info Desk. It's just an obscure question. It's not you, it's me.) But I was willing to do what it took to get your answer, so off I went. 

No sooner had I stepped past the very statue did Spencer, the realest of MVPs, came running out to tell me he had found the answer. Not only that, but he had been right all along. I followed him back inside where he showed me this 2014 Daily Universe article,

"Brigham Young’s grandson, Mahonri Young, sculpted this statue as a monument in Salt Lake City. The statue was recreated and added to BYU’s campus on Homecoming Week in 1961."

Freaking 1961. Of course. Because why would they put a statue in front of a building that wasn't built yet? Right? Right. So, 1961. Thanks again, Spencer. 

Also, happy late birthday, friend 

bagg the head.jpg 
(The face is my creation but I must admit I stole the bag from Frere Rubik.)

Take care,

-Auto Surf 

Question #89821 posted on 07/11/2017 12:38 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I know that the Church gives little guidance on what jobs to have, but which jobs do y'all think are the most in line with the gospel? I've thought that some might be FBI (their core values, justice, service), medical professions (healing, helping people), diplomacy (seeking peaceful solutions, bridging differences), psychology (healing minds, service), etc. What are some more and any thoughts on my list?

-Caju

A:

Dear Achoo,

Following is a list of majors offered at BYU (slightly edited for clarity--for example, I lumped all teaching majors under "education," and all foreign languages under "foreign languages"), and how they're in line with the gospel. Majors often translate to jobs, and I firmly believe that every job can be perfectly in line with the gospel, as long as it's not something like running an organized crime syndicate or being an assassin.

Also, remember that literally an job can be used to serve others, and service is very much in line with the gospel, so I think it's less about the job itself and more about what we choose to do with it that makes them in line with the gospel.

Plus any and all intelligence is of God, so anybody who does something that helps them gain intelligence brings them closer to God, something that seems very in line with gospel principles. 

Plus if people are doing things that make them happy, that's part of the Gospel plan, too--we are that we might have joy, after all.

But, without further ado, my list:

  • Accounting: Helping people/businesses keep their finances honest and above-board. 
  • Acting: Providing wholesome entertainment, which, according to "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," we should be seeking.
  • Actuarial science: Making sense of something that seems chaotic--bringing order and sense to a tumultuous world.
  • American studies: If we believe 1 Nephi 13, God cares deeply about the finding, founding, and fate of America, so shouldn't we?
  • Ancient Near Eastern Studies (Greek New Testament and Hebrew Bible): Okay, this one is literally about studying the Bible and understanding it better.
  • Animation: Satan cares a lot about the media we consume, and uses it to help distract and deviate people from the gospel path. Therefore, having more people who want to create media that can be wholesome and uplifting is so important.
  • Anthropology: Learning more about all of God's children, developing greater empathy and love for them.
  • Art: Creating beauty. And if there's one thing I get from looking at the world, it's that God values beauty.
  • Art history and curatorial studies: Preserving beauty. What good are the works of beauty that others make if nobody has access to them?
  • Asian studies: Okay, we just established that God cares a lot about America. But we also know He's no respecter of persons and loves all his children equally. Thus, if we want to become like God it follows that we need to love everyone equally. And how can you love someone if you don't understand their culture?
  • Athletic training: Helping people reach their full potential. Helping people take care of their bodies. And, y'know, our bodies are what separate us from Satan, and according to the Word of Wisdom God cares about us taking care of them.
  • Biochemistry: Understanding better how living organisms work, giving us greater appreciation for God's work and preparing us to create worlds of our own one day.
  • Biodiversity and conservation: Helping to preserve the world that God made.
  • Bioinformatics: This one has huge implications for research that can help lead to important medicines, as well as allowing us to understand more about the human race.
  • Biology: Learning about God's creations and understanding better how they work, preparing us to one day be gods.
  • Biophysics: Directly applying laws that govern creation to the living world helps us see the hand of God.
  • Chemical engineering: From what I understand about chemical engineering, it has very real, very pertinent, applications for helping the entire human race (medicine and oil are two things that I can think of that chemical engineering has a direct hand in, and both of those help us a lot).
  • Chemistry: Giving people the knowledge necessary to create incredibly useful things like new medicines or drugs.
  • Civil engineering: Creating public spaces that make people's lives easier, creating an environment in which people can feel the Spirit.
  • Classical studies: Helping us understand our own culture, which is the context in which we live the gospel.
  • Communication disorders: Helping people be heard, helping people change their lives.
  • Communications: We live in a social world. Without the ability to communicate effectively (on a personal level, but also on a more widespread, corporate level), society would fall apart.
  • Comparative literature: Understanding the world and human nature better through the use of literature.
  • Computer engineering: Creating computers that can benefit the entire world.
  • Computer science: Using technology to help others, creating things that allow pretty much every other field to function, helping the Church advance its technological goals.
  • Construction and facilities management: Organizing important projects that need to be done for the good of society.
  • Dance: Creating beauty, providing a creative and therapeutic outlet.
  • Design: Creating beauty, helping us make the most of what we have.
  • Dietetics: Taking care of our bodies.
  • Economics: Helping people allocate resources. Very few other jobs would be of any good to us as a society if we didn't have economics because we wouldn't be able to efficiently access them.
  • Education: Helping mold the younger generation, providing role models/cheerleaders for people who may be struggling, disseminating intelligence (which is the glory of God [D&C 93:36]).
  • Electrical engineering: Using technology to help others, creating things that have immediate benefits for others.
  • English: Communicating more effectively with others.
  • Environmental science: Taking care of God's creations.
  • European studies: Understanding God's children and their cultures better.
  • Exercise and wellness: Taking care of our God-given bodies, helping us reach our full physical potential.
  • Exercise science: Again, helping people take care of their bodies, as well as understanding how they work, thus allowing us to get closer to God.
  • Family history: This one seems obvious, given the emphasis the Church places on family history.
  • Family life: Families are central to God's plan. Isn't this one obvious, too?
  • Finance: Learning management skills that prepare us to become like God, learning to budget and be self-reliant in order to be in a better position to help others.
  • Food science: Using food in creative new ways so that more people have access to proper nutrition.
  • Foreign languages: Developing a greater ability to communicate with and understand God's children, learning how to cross cultural barriers, preparing for a mission.
  • French studies: Understanding more of God's children through better understanding their culture.
  • Genetics, Genomics & Biotechnology: Helping others with medical problems in a myriad of ways.
  • Geography: Gaining a greater appreciation for the earth and its peoples, learning how to connect better with others because you understand their culture better.
  • Geology: Understanding how the earth works, which better prepares us to be gods one day.
  • German studies: Getting to know God's children and their cultures better.
  • Graphic design: Creating beauty, using it to promote good things.
  • History: Understanding where we come from so we know better how to move forward and improve in our quest to become gods. And as we learn from Helaman 5, remembering is one of the most important things we can do in the gospel.
  • Illustration: Expressing creative feelings (and creating is one of the defining hallmarks of God).
  • Industrial design: Creating useful products that improve people's standard of living.
  • Information systems: Disseminating information to help other people and make their jobs easier.
  • Information technology: Assisting people who need help, improving the way things are done.
  • Interdisciplinary humanities: Becoming well-rounded in a variety of subjects, thus preparing oneself to become more like God. Understanding people better so that you're more able to help them.
  • International relations: Helping smooth relationships between countries, doing things that will help lead to peace and prosperity across the globe.
  • Italian studies: Understanding a different culture better so we can better understand ourselves and other children of God.
  • Landscape management: Helping public spaces look beautiful, utilizing resources well (thus teaching resourcefulness and gratitude for what we have).
  • Latin American studies: Understanding more of God's children and their cultures, which is in and of itself a worthy pursuit.
  • Law (grad program): Pursuing justice, upholding public values, helping people achieve their legal goals.
  • Linguistics: Understanding languages to better understand scriptures, and also to better understand other children of God.
  • Management: Developing leadership skills (essential for gods-in-training), learning how to help and motivate others.
  • Manufacturing engineering technology: Creating products that others need, learning cooperation across a variety of disciplines (which helps people learn to cooperate in real life, something that we desperately need in order to have peace and harmony in the world).
  • Mathematics: Giving us the building blocks of creation, developing clarity of thinking and establishing truth, learning the language of the building blocks of the universe.
  • Mechanical engineering: Creating products to fill important needs. Helping people develop the skill of seeing a need and filling it. Developing a sense of independently developed work.
  • Media arts studies: Developing analytical skills, working to create beauty.
  • Medical laboratory science: Researching to help improve and develop new medicines for the benefit of mankind.
  • Microbiology: Learning about God's creations and how they work, gaining a greater appreciation for the world around us.
  • Molecular biology: Understanding the building blocks of creation to help prepare us to be gods.
  • Music: Creating beauty, learning to understand and appreciate the genius of others, being able to greater appreciate our God-given senses.
  • Music dance theater: Bringing happiness to others, developing talents, providing wholesome entertainment.
  • Neuroscience: Advancing our understanding of the human brain--this leads to greater understanding of ourselves, helping us understand better who we are and how we work, greater understanding of others, and also the ability to help heal brains.
  • Nursing: Taking care of sick people, helping heal others.
  • Nutritional science: Helping us take care of our bodies.
  • Philosophy: Increasing our humility, curiosity, and awe, as well as allowing us to learn more about ways to approach God/ethics/life. This allows us to cling to the good in our Church, while celebrating truth and goodness wherever else we find it.
  • Photography: Helping people document important moments in their lives, capturing beautiful moments in God's creations, developing a sense of creativity and an appreciation for beauty in all its forms.
  • Physics: Searching for truth (God is all about truth), helping us understand the laws governing all of creation.
  • Physiology and developmental biology: Understanding how our bodies function, giving us greater appreciation for God's work and also allowing us to develop better remedies and cures for specific maladies.
  • Political science: Understanding the government better so we can be better citizens.
  • Portuguese studies: Understanding God's children and their cultures better.
  • Psychology: Healing people's brains, helping them find peace.
  • Public health: Helping take care of the public, healing.
  • Recreation management: Providing wholesome recreational activities, helping bring people together and bond over recreational activities.
  • Sociology: Understanding what makes people and cultures tick so that we can be more empathetic and loving of others and where they come from.
  • Spanish studies: Understanding God's children and their cultures better.
  • Statistics: Interpreting seemingly chaotic numbers to help make sense of the world in a new way.
  • Theatre arts studies: Learning to appreciate the talents of others and find and appreciate beauty wherever it may be.
  • Wildlife and wildlands conservation: Um, hello, preserving God's creations.
Whew, that was a long list. Even if you didn't read it all, the point is, anything you do with the intent to serve others and draw closer to God can help serve others and draw you closer to God. The Puritans believed that everybody had a "Christian calling," or a specific vocation they were meant to fill, and that no matter what it was, they could use it to glorify God. Be they preachers or streetsweepers, midwives or cobblers, they all did their specific job with the intent to glorify God. The Puritans often get a bad rap, with people only associating them with religious fanaticism and the Salem witch trials, but this is a part of their religion that I find truly beautiful and supremely applicable. Whatever job someone chooses can be their "Christian calling" if they approach it with the right mindset and intent.
 
If you want more LDS theology backing this up, and not just Puritan ideals, D&C 93:53 exhorts us "to obtain a knowledge of history, and of countries, and of kingdoms, of laws of God and man, and all this for the salvation of Zion." Not just a knowledge of the scriptures, but of absolutely everything we can, so we can use it "for the salvation of Zion." From that I infer that we can help advance the cause of Zion in a myriad of ways, even if those ways may not seem immediately apparent.
 
It sounds like you have a good heart, and want to pick a job that truly is in line with the gospel. The thing is, they all are, and the Church isn't going to specify any career path as being "more righteous" than another, because righteousness and gospel principles have much more to do with individuals than they do with entire jobs. Just be a good person, and things will work out.
 
In closing, I leave you with this quote from Martin Luther King, Jr: "No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity and has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with the painstaking excellence."
 
-Alta
Question #89813 posted on 06/02/2017 11:38 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

My roommate said that he has calf muscles of a stallion, but I didn't think that horses had calf muscles. When I tried to research it, I got very confused at the not only whether horses have muscles between their "knee joint" and their hoof, but also what is defined as a "calf muscle" (and then I wondered if "calf muscle" has any reference to baby cows). Please help!

-Anatomically Addled

A:

Dear person,

The skeletal and muscular systems of horses are pretty different from us, although they are analogues. They have (pretty much) all the same bones, but they are shaped differently. 

The lower leg of humans are made from the tibia and fibula, and the calf muscles are gastrocnemius, soleus, and plantaris. 

Here is what the back leg off a horse looks like (these bones are pictured as if the horse is facing to the left):

 hindleg of horse with box.JPG

The box surrounds the horse's "gaskin", which is analogous to the human calf (both are formed by the tibia and fibula). The teeny tiny bones below that are the tarsals, which is analogous to the human ankle (the "knee joint" you are probably thinking about, which is called the "hock"). Below that are the metatarsals, which are analogous to the human foot bones. Below that are the phalanges, which are analogous to human toes. 

From what I can tell from this handy dandy Wikipedia article and from puttering around the internet, there are no muscles below the tarsals - only tendons. It seems that the muscle bodies are in the gaskin and the tendons extend below and attach to the bones, which is how horses can move their lower legs - all of the force is coming from above the hock.

-Sheebs

Question #89799 posted on 05/31/2017 11:57 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Not sure how well you'll be able to help with this, but it is worth a try. I have a tomato cultivar I am planting in my garden this summer that is native to Italy (Costoluto Genovese) how best should I adapt my care of this plant for Utah's desert. More water? More shade? Different soil nutrients? It is alive so far, but seems rather limp and I'm worried that it is not thriving. Any advice you, or resources you have, could offer on caring for a plant that is in a very different environment than its native habitat would be appreciated!

-My Sort-Of Green Thumb

A:

Dear Green Thumb (Sort-Of),

That sounds so awesome! When I was a kid, my family would grow tomatoes during the summer and they were wonderful. This was in Southern Utah, so I understand your problem in some ways. Our plants definitely struggled to grow in the desert environment. Keep in mind, though, that I'm not exactly a gardening expert and that you should possibly couple this advice with your own research.

Utah's climate is very different from Italy. Most gardening resources suggest considering a tomato variety more accustomed to the heat, but in this case, your best bet is to adapt the environment around the tomatoes rather than re-plant. The suggested temperature to raise Costoluto Genovese tomatoes in is around 60F, which is about 20 degrees lower than the current temperature in Utah. This could be part of the reason your tomato plant is limp. More shade could be a good idea if you can find a spot with lots of shade in the afternoon.

For tomatoes in especially hot weather, it's a good idea to make sure they get lots of sun in the morning but shade through the afternoon. If you do not have a place in your garden with natural shade, artificially construct it. If you create a shaded structure that's open to the east, your tomatoes will get sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon. Construct a frame around the tomatoes, then drape a shade cloth (found at gardening centers) over the frame. Many resources suggest a "50 percent" shade cloth, which will reduce heat by that percentage.

Some resources also suggest adding a mulch layer (2-3 inches) around your tomatoes to keep the soil damp. You can buy bagged mulch or create your own. Stick your finger into the soil around the tomatoes to assess wetness. If the soil is dry, your tomato isn't getting enough water. Keeping the soil moist constantly can prevent limpness, so be sure to water your plants daily or even twice daily depending on how hot it is outside. Also, avoid over-fertilizing your tomatoes on especially hot days (over 85F for most tomatoes, but maybe 75-80F for Costoluto Genovese tomatoes), because this can overstress the plant.

Good luck! I hope your tomatoes turn out okay. Let us know if you have more questions.

-Van Goff

Question #89767 posted on 05/28/2017 2:20 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What does flirting mean to you? I've always been pretty flirtatious and flirting is really casual to me. I won't flirt with someone if there's absolutely no interest, but that interest might just be in having another conversation after which the interest is gone. I sometimes worry that people are taking my flirting in the wrong way but there's no way short of asking to find out if someone thinks I want to date them. I think honesty in dating is really important so how do you be honest with such a vague definition of what flirting looks like and what flirting means?

-Shameful flirt

A:

Dear Flirt,

What does flirting mean to me? Well I'm really bad at it in practice, but in theory, flirting is showing that you're interested in someone more intensely than you would with any random person. Let me explain with some pictures I made.

In this first image, we have a graph of intensity versus time. This is an example of how someone's interactions with people they aren't interested in might look. Therefore, the red line shows the maximum normal intensity of interest that should be interpreted as normal friendliness.

baseline.png

Now, suppose that this person is interested in someone. When they're around that person, we see the two tall peaks with green arrows next to them. That's flirting. You can tell because they treat that person differently than whatever other random people.

flirting.png

But what if there was a person whose Intensity/Time graph looked more like this?

too much flirting.png

If each of the peaks that exceeds the red line is a different person and some of the people whose peaks exceed the red line also sometimes don't, then the baseline isn't really there. It's more like this.

new baseline.png

But what if the person was actually trying to flirt with that one person with the tallest peak? Well, there's really no way for that person to tell that they're flirting, because they're not significantly more interesting than any other person. This is one potential downside to being overly casually flirtatious.

problem.png

On the other hand, we usually don't see every interaction that another person has with perfect objectivity, so the opposite problem can happen as well. If the person related to the third peak in the graph above didn't see any of the other tall peaks, they might assume that they were being flirted with, when that isn't necessarily the case.

As far as knowing if someone thinks you want to date them, is that really the important question? I mean, it seems to me like it doesn't matter if they think you want to date them unless they also want to date you, and that's relatively easy to find out. If you're a guy, you ask a girl out a few times, and if says yes and reciprocates your flirting, then it's a pretty good bet that she's interested. If you're a girl, you give him plenty of opportunities to ask you out (or you ask him out yourself, that's totally fine too), and if he does then it's a pretty good bet that he's interested.

I don't think that there's anything wrong with casually flirting with people that you're interested in, as long as that flirting stops as soon as the interest is gone. And please, for the love of all that is good, if you're a girl and it takes a few dates for that interest to go away but he still asks you on another date, just tell him no. Don't just ignore him. That's just rude.

-The Entomophagist

Question #89749 posted on 05/23/2017 1:22 a.m.
Q:

Dear Frère Rubik,

Which people should go through which doors when entering/exiting the library in order to maximize efficiency?

– Larry Wayne

A:

Dear Larry Wayne,

Well, who'da thunk it? Someone actually read my bio page!

For this question, we'll look at the ground floor of the library. Specifically, we'll look at the southwestern-most doors, since they're the ones I use the most to go from the library to the ESC when I'm going to class and therefore are the doors at which I experience most of my frustrations:

doors.png

Now, when large groups of people walk down this hallway, they tend to move to the right hand side, creating two lanes of traffic, like so:

paths.png

Why do we do this? It could be because we tend to drive on the right side of the road and so subconsciously we do the same thing when we're on foot. I found some articles about why different countries drive on the right side or the left, and this discussion about why people walk on the side of the sidewalk they do. It's interesting, but far from conclusive.

But anyway: in this situation, walking on the right side of the hall, which door should you exit out of? Would either of them be equally efficient? Let's take a look.

If the people exiting/entering the building choose the door that is on their right, the traffic flows like this:

good way.png

As you can see, this makes both the people in the blue lane and the people in the red lane happy, since they're all able to enter/exit the building in a smooth, continuous path without any interruptions. Sure, they show their happiness in different ways, but at the end of the day, what does it matter? Just because the blue people have their eyes and mouth wide open does not mean that we should give in to the temptation to label the red people as merely "content." Surely we can agree that, just as there are billions of people on this earth, there are also billions of ways to express our happiness.

Now, what would it look like if they tried the other door?

bad way.png

Now, we find that things have changed. The red people people are still happy; entering through the left door has done nothing to interrupt their walking path or their sense of inner contentment. The blue people, though, find themselves at a loss as to what they should do. While the steady stream of red people cuts them off from the door on the left, there are too many red people coming in the door on the right for the blues to exit there, either. They resign themselves to wait, hoping this interruption will turn out to be a minor one.

angry.png

It isn't meant to be. The red people continue streaming in through the left door, blissfully unaware of the problem they're creating for the blues. And how could they be? They're busy people leading busy lives, and they've been caught up in the temporary euphoria of uninterrupted traffic flow. They see themselves; in some instances, they may also see their fellow reds and bask in the joy of communal movement towards a common goal. It is highly unlikely that they see the blues.

The blues' confusion has turned into frustration. Will there be no end to the line of reds streaming through the right door? Some may make an attempt to break through the line to the left door, but the reds unwittingly have created an impenetrable barrier with their joyful movement. The blues' frustration turns into desperation, and in some cases, anger. They didn't do anything to deserve this! In fact, they get angry at the fact that they're angry. This miserable mood isn't their fault at all! Why should they have to get frustrated and upset because of the ignorant mistakes of others? Confound it all, it's not fair, do you hear me? It's not fair!

And yet the reds continue to flow.

crazy.png

Eventually, the blues' anger reaches its boiling point. Future historians looking on the actions of this day will be filled with a sense of tragic pity. They, so far removed in time, can clearly see how this cause led to that effect and how the whole thing might have been avoided. If some people had perhaps been more thoughtful, and others had committed themselves beforehand to never do what would ultimately be done, then perhaps this day could have slipped unobtrusively in line with its fellows, completely normal and unremarkable. Sadly, this is not the case.

Pushed to the breaking point by their frustration and desperation to reach class on time, the blues will eventually move en masse, scattering like so many ball bearings from a discharged shotgun shell. Their random motion cuts off the red line, surprising them out of their felicitous reprieve. For a few agonizing moments, no one enters or exits the library at all. Slowly, the blues regain their sense of composure and make their way towards the doors. If some insightful red acts quickly enough, she will boldly direct her line toward the door on their right, allowing the blues a dignified exit through the other door and restoring a sense of order and balance to that small section of campus. Or, perhaps, too stunned to learn from past mistakes, she will remain in front of the door to her left. The blues, with no other option, will go through the other door, and the fortunes of red and blue will have been effectively reversed. Those blues at the front of the line will remember the tragedy and seek to warn those that come after them, but invariably the blues at the end of the line will not have paid attention and will fall into the same locomotive bliss as their red counterparts from before. The reds will wait outside, tensions building until the horrible cycle of events repeats itself once more, causing all those involved to lament the futility of time and history.

---

But there is a way to break this chain of sorrow. You can be the difference. You can be the change you want to see in the world. You can help everyone experience the joy of uninterrupted movement through open doors.

You can choose the right.

-Frère Rubik

Question #89723 posted on 05/28/2017 2:26 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I don't want to scare you, but I'd like to talk about horcruxes. I've got a few questions. First, how many can you really make, I've heard it's 7, well I guess 6, but is there anything really stopping me from going higher? Second, how exactly would my soul be divided? I mean, does it divide in half the first time I make one?
Because if it keeps dividing in half, and leaving the remaining half soul in a horcrux, then by the time I split my soul into its seventh part, I would only have 1/64th of a soul left in my body, while my first horcrux would have an entire half soul, that doesn't seem fair, does it?

-Tom Riddle

A:

Dear Riddle,

As Sheebs demonstrated in her table, the fraction of your soul you get to keep gets exponentially smaller with every division. As she pointed out, with M being the number of horcruxes (or divisions) you make, you get to keep 1/2M of a soul. (Again refer to Sheebs' table to see this relationship.) Now the limit of this expression as M approaches infinity is 0. However, the funny thing about limits is that you don't have to actually arrive, and in the case of 1/2M, you don't. So if we just go off of the criteria that you need some soul in you to survive (no matter how infinitesimally small that soul is), and assume that the soul isn't composed of physical matter (per Ento's point below me) then you can technically continue making horcruxes ad infinitum.

But we don't live in a world with infinitely many people in it, so your next limiting factor is the number of people. Currently it's 7.3 billion. (Plugging that into our handy-dandy equation gives us that you would have approximately 4.4971x10-2197518969 of a soul left, but hey, that's still some soul!)

The next thing to consider is how much time it will take to kill all those people. I mean, technically your horcruxes grant you immortality, but my guess is that when you go on your killing spree, the survivors will be highly incentivized to stop you, so living forever isn't necessarily a given. So, because I can, I'm now going to go into approximately how long it would take for you to kill everyone in the world while making a horcrux with every killing.

Right off the bat, we can see this will take a bit longer than just Avada-Kedavra-ing everyone. "But wait," some reader says "didn't Voldemort manage to turn Harry into a horcrux without some extra spell?" Eh, Harry wasn't truly a Horcrux. Buried in the depths of this article is a quote by J.K. Rowling backing me up. Essentially, Harry wasn't cursed/evil like the other horcruxes because Voldemort didn't go through the proper process, though he was close to being a horcrux.

The books never specify the exact requisite spell for making a horcrux, but I think it's safe to say it's complicated. Let's assume this spell costs you 3.5 minutes of time (cause you get horrifically efficient at it). Actually killing people will go pretty quickly. Using the highly accurate and scientific method of muttering "avada kedavra" under my breath repeatedly (12 times to be exact) while in the library, and waving my finger like it's a wand, I came up with an average killing time of .671 seconds. You might get faster with experience, but my guess is that you won't be focusing on constantly speaking as fast as you possibly can, so I'm just going to say this value is constant over time. Another thing to add onto your murder time is resistance, and taking the time laugh in a high-pitched, evil manner (you know, adding that special personal touch). Note that I'm assuming you're taking the craftsman's approach here, and killing people individually. You probably don't need to laugh every time you murder (we don't want to go overboard here), so I'm going to suppose that you laugh for 1 out of every 5 killings, where each laugh has an average duration of 3 seconds. With an even distribution, let's factor in 5 seconds per person for resistance.

Without yet adding in travel/sleep/reveling in your evilness time, we have a rough total of 50,063 years for time needed to make a horcrux per every currently living person.

But if it's going to take you 50 thousand years to kill us all, how long before you actually get around to the general Board readership (i.e. the US)? Well, let's start looking at in your between murdering times, like traveling to your next victims.

Dividing the world into Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Oceania, and Antarctica, we conveniently have the population densities for each region here (which will be useful later on*). Let's say you commence your horcrux spree in Europe, successively moving on to Africa, South America, North America, Asia, Oceania, and finally Anarctica. Thanks to the ability to apparate, you can travel much faster than the average muggle, helping to cut back significantly in this department. However, apparating has its limits, so no big intercontinental apparition is allowed. Luckily for you, the shortest distance between Europe and Africa is only about 14 km, so is still within the range of apparating. Unfortunately for you, some other continents aren't so close, so you'll have to resort to brooms. 

I'm sure you'll have the best broom looting the now-empty shops can turn up, so you'll probably be able to fly at about 241 km an hour. As Africa and South America are 2575 km apart, that trip will take you 10.7 hours. North and South America are only separated by the isthmus of Panama, so again that will be within apparating bounds. If you leave from Alaska to Russia, there's only a distance of ~88 km (55 mi) and so you'll probably be able to apparate (though I'm not sure if a less adept wizard could). Asia and Oceania are separated by 7560 km, so that will cost 31.4 hours. Finally, the journey to Antarctica (to kill off those scientists) is 6,685 km, or 27.7 hours. 

For simplicity's sake, let's say you can kill everyone within a 10 meter radius before having to apparate to your next location, and that each apparition eats up 5 seconds. The following are your continent kill-times (using landmasses from here):

Europe: 5111.87 years (you have 1.265X10-2236954 of a soul left).

Africa: 8386.88 years (Alas, I was going to keep a running soul total, but Wolfram Alpha isn't working, and my graphing calculator ran out of batteries quite some time ago, so you all are just going to have to imagine the ever diminishing numbers to the side. Or, you know, plug the numbers into the formula yourself, but who would ever go to that trouble? That'd be crazy...)

South America: 2925.72 years (even less soul than before).

North America: 4009.19 years (imagine a super small number; the amount of soul you still have left is probably smaller).

Asia: 30492.36 years (repeat the imagining process, but now go even littler).

Oceania: 278.41 years (I mean, at this point probably even Dementors can't sense your poor, fragmented soul).

Antarctica: 20.97 years (hah, you can just refer to the above paragraphs to know how much soul there is left in your now very old and wizened body!).

This comes to a total of about 51,142 years, with 16,424 years before you arrive to North America. So, all you readers, just pass down this answer through the generations. Your 821st great grandchildren may be in trouble. 

Alternatively, opposed to killing the world population, I guess you could leave enough survivors in any one place who can continue having kids that could then be turned into horcruxes (again with enough survivors to produce a new generation). I think this might finally be getting into realm of that which is too morbid even for me, though.

~Anathema, who probably derived far too much morbid glee out of writing this answer

*Guess it didn't turn out to be important, but maybe you can do other cool things with that information

Question #89644 posted on 05/10/2017 11:45 a.m.
Q:

[Editor’s note: This question has been edited to remove references to specific political or doctrinal topics, in order to prevent writers from going on tangents about individual issues and to help readers focus on the core question being asked. Such topics may be addressed by submitting individual questions with a narrower focus. This question has also been broken up into multiple paragraphs.]

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I've been a fan of the board for many years. You guys have been amazing for so long. I've really been amazed at the wittiness, quality, research, and admiration I've seen from your responses. By and large your performance has been phenomenal. I've seen it go through different phases. I've read thousands of questions. I just graduated from BYU and have read thousands of responses since I was in High School.

I apologize ahead of time if this offends the writers. The board has never gone this far as it has this year. The first trend that's alarmed me is that everyone is going wayyyyyyy liberal. Old writers from 10 years ago would be shocked at some of your opinions. By and large we Mormons are very conservative people. I'm not saying that you should all be ultraconservative, I'm just remarking that it seems that every writer here is left of center. I just think it's unfortunate that there's little diversity of opinion when you don't have any staunch conservatives anymore. I just want to know if there is at least 1 staunch conservative on the board. Is there??? I'm not implying that liberal Mormons make bad Mormons. But I am alarmed that so many board writers don't even have testimonies.

I know that there is a disclaimer that says that this site doesn't necessarily reflect the views of BYU. But I'm starting to feel that the board is becoming a den of apostates. I feel like if a board writer couldn't attend BYU because of their behavior and beliefs, then they probably shouldn't be a writer on the board at all. Are your answers assisting students on their path to eternal life? Many board readers are fed up with the subversive views that are creeping on to the board. I think it would be somewhat appropriate if the board writers were actually BYU students who were living the honor code. Why are ex-mormons still writing on the board? Why can't this be a faith based, faith promoting forum? Why would anyone still write here if they no longer believed in Christ's teachings? I'm legitimately wondering. WHY??? There are new-order Mormon forums and plenty of apostate leaning blogs in the Blogernacle for exmormons. I have loved this board for so long. And I am BITTER that it's changed so much.

The LDS church is GOD'S true church! I know that. You probably think that I'm some naive small town Utard that's super uninformed/non-intellectual. Guess what, I've grappled with almost every faith issue you all are, or have been dealing with. I'm not ignorant. All I'm asking is, can we have a board where the writers care about their covenants? Can we have a board where faith in God and His Son are valued? Can we have a board where we can all accept that Joseph Smith really did see God and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God? Can we have a board where all of us are at least trying to get to the Celestial Kingdom?

Are there any of you board members who are just thinking some of the same things as me but are too afraid to admit where this board is heading? God loves all of you way more than I do. That's for sure. But I want you to know that I love and care about the board and that I'm heartbroken that collectively, it's going astray. So if you're some board member struggling with your testimony,can you promise to read the Book of Mormon every day for the next month? Can you promise to pray to God every night even if you may no longer believe that he's there? Can you try to make it to church this Sunday? So all I truly want to know is - can I pretty please have the board I love back?

Sword of Truth!

-My Name Here

A:

Dear you,

Your question interested me, so I made a survey and had the current writers take it. It was anonymous, so I feel pretty sure that they answered honestly.

It should be noted that I have absolutely no experience in survey design or methodology. Also, I apologize in advance for the fact that the graphics are a bit blurry; I can't seem to fix that.

I'm pretty sure we have about 21 current writers, and the survey received 17 responses. This was a pretty good rate, since we have quite a few writers who are technically current, but haven't answered anything in months.

First, I asked some basic questions about Church activity and commandment-keeping:

In general, do you consider yourself active, somewhat active, somewhat less active, or less active?

active.png

What percentage of the time do you attend church?

attendance.png

When you attend church, which meetings do you attend (select all that apply)?

meetings.png

Which of the following best describes you?

standards.png

Are you trying to get to the Celestial Kingdom?

celestial.png

These results pretty much speak for themselves. Current Board writers are overwhelmingly active, attending their meetings, and trying to get to the Celestial Kingdom. They are all keeping the Honor Code and/or living Church standards.

Next, I asked a few questions about the role that the Church played in their life:

With 0 being "do not value at all" and 10 being "value greatly," how would you describe role that faith in God and His Son plays in your life?

faith.png

With 0 being "do not value at all" and 10 being "value greatly," how would you describe role that covenants play in your life?

covenants.png

Board writers overwhelmingly find that faith in God and Jesus Christ, and keeping covenants with them, plays an extremely valuable role in their life.

Then I asked some testimony questions:

Do you believe the Church is true?

true.png

Please respond with your beliefs about the following statements about Joseph Smith: Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ during the First Vision, Joseph Smith was a prophet, and Joseph Smith restored the original Church of Christ to the earth.

joseph.png

(I'd like to note here that the writer who answered "strongly disagree" also identified as active and answered "yes" to the "Do you believe the Church is true?" question. This leads me to suspect that they intended to respond with "strongly agree," and misread the answer options.)

Please respond with your beliefs about the following statements about the Book of Mormon: the Book of Mormon is doctrinally true, the Book of Mormon is a historically accurate record of an ancient people, and Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God.

mormon.png

(As with the Joseph Smith question, I'm pretty sure that the writer who responded with "strongly disagree" meant to respond "strongly agree".)

Assuming that my interpretations of the outlying answers are correct, Board writers overwhelmingly have firm testimonies of the basic tenets of the Restoration, with room for reasonable and normal questions or reservations that many active members have.

Next, I asked a few questions about where the writers fall politically, and how they believe politics intersects with the Church:

What is your political affiliation?

affiliation.png

Please provide your opinions on the following statements about the intersection of the Church and politics: Church doctrine corresponds more closely to conservative politics, It is possible to be politically liberal and an active Mormon, I feel conflict between my political views and the doctrine of the Church, and I feel conflict between my political views and the culture of the Church.

intersection.png

These results show that the Board does skew liberal politically; about 2/3 of the Board writers identified as left of center. Part of me wonders if I should have provided an option to simply select "centrist," but I feel like if too many people selected that, there wouldn't be as much clarity.

The second graph shows that, in general, writers don't feel like there's much conflict between being a liberal Mormon and believing in the doctrines of the Church. It also shows that writers do feel that there is some conflict between Mormon culture and liberal political beliefs. The second graph also indicates that we have a writer who is pretty committed to a politically conservative approach to the Gospel.

Finally, I asked a few questions to gauge whether writers feel that liberal or conservative opinions are favored or discriminated against on the Board:

Please rate your opinion on the following statements about 100 Hour Board culture: there is little diversity of political opinion on the Board, there is little diversity of doctrinal opinion on the Board, the Board is more liberal than the average BYU population, liberal opinions are discouraged on the Board, and conservative opinions are discouraged on the Board.

board culture.png

Please rate how comfortable you feel expressing your opinions on the Board, with 0 being "extremely uncomfortable" and 10 being "extremely comfortable".

opinions.png

These results show that although the Board writers are aware of the fact that the Board writers are more liberal as a whole than the BYU population, they have pretty ambivalent feelings about whether this results in homogeneous opinions on political or doctrinal topics.

I found it interesting to compare the results of these two questions in regard to how welcome conservative and liberal opinions are on the Board. The first question would seem to indicate that writers feel that conservative opinions are slightly less welcome than liberal opinions. (Interestingly, one of the "somewhat agree" responses to that statement was by a writer who identified as "left" in the political affiliations question.) However, the second question indicates that Board writers felt ever so slightly more comfortable expressing conservative opinions, although the results are so evenly tied as to suggest that on average, writers feel equally comfortable.

I actually think these results make sense. Since the Board is currently two-thirds politically liberal, there is definitely going to be a peer pressure effect in terms of conservative vs. liberal opinions. I think the writers are pretty good at respecting each other, and it's kept to a minimum, but being the minority voice in a group is always going to feel a bit intimidating. On the other hand, since the Board is unofficially hosted by BYU, there's a sense that conservative opinions aren't going to upset the administration or reflect badly upon BYU, because BYU is overwhelmingly conservative. However, liberal opinions always run the risk of seeming too "out there" for a website that ends in .byu.edu.

Conclusions

The current Board writers are overwhelmingly active, testimony-holding, good members of the Church. The Board also is more liberal than the BYU population. This results in some inevitable skewing towards the left, but overall, the Board is happy to allow writers to express both conservative and liberal opinions, and the writers feel reasonably comfortable expressing themselves regardless of political affiliation. Writers acknowledge that liberal opinions are often at odds with church culture, but do not feel that they are incompatible with Church doctrine.

Personally, I would echo the Editors' suggestion to read for a little while and see if your perception was skewed by alumni week. If, after further reading of only the current writers' answers, you still feel that the Board is apostate, you might need to reëxamine whether you truly believe that one can be liberal and a good Mormon.

Thanks for the opportunity to do this survey, it was fun.

-Zedability

Question #89616 posted on 05/02/2017 11:34 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Will you get me Tucanos' mango fish recipe?

-I didn't realize it was so good

A:

Dear inorite, 

Well, you're not really in luck, Tucanos has not published their recipes at all. I asked my uncle who works with Tucanos out of interest and he doesn't have the recipe. Even if he had the recipe, I probably wouldn't have posted it on a public site on the internet, because that kind of stuff gets you fired. I searched around on the internet and was surprised to find a veritable void in the copycat recipe scene as far as Tucanos goes. I was surprised that I couldn't even find one attempt at a recipe. So with full knowledge that I wouldn't get it right, I set out with minimal time, minimal money, and minimal knowledge of how to deep fry fish. So I proudly present:

Sherpa Dave's Kinda Not Really Tucanos Mango Fish Recipe Adventure

18338744_1696153807079705_581604227_o.jpg

First off, I grabbed a mango at the store, then promptly remembered I hate cutting up mangoes. Let's not dwell on how I dispatched the mango, but let's just say I peeled it first.

18236681_1696153810413038_306469179_o.jpg

This is my (first) attempt at the glaze:

3/4 cup vinegar

Heat over medium heat

Add 3/4 cup brown sugar, realize this isn't quite the type of glaze you were going for, add 1/4 cup more brown sugar in a last ditch effort to balance out the vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger root, and the flesh of one mango. Heat to a boil over medium-high heat and allow to reduce for about, 10 minutes.

After that, allow to cool slightly, add 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice and then put it in a blender and puree until smooth.

18261305_1696153897079696_1138932581_o.jpg

Periodically pander to every whim of the excitable puppy who demands your attention every second.

18236630_1696153903746362_1226845447_o.jpg

This is a .5 lb cod fillet that I used for the fish. For the batter I ended up using a batter which has eggs in it, which I now realize is not the same as Tucanos, but it's what happened so. If I were to redo it, I would try a batter without eggs, and use cornstarch, cause it turned out we were out. Here's the batter that I ended up using in my recipe.

18236547_1696153703746382_137453698_o.jpg

Mix 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 cup cornmeal

Make a well in middle, add 1 cup of cold water mixed with one egg yolk. Mix until barely combined.

Fold in 2 egg whites that have been beaten to stiff peaks. Use this batter immediately.

Fry the fish in an oil with a high smoke point, like peanut oil. Make sure you maintain a temperature between 350 and 375 Fahrenheit, you can do this easily with a candy thermometer. Fry the fish until golden brown.

18289930_1696153573746395_761979854_o.jpg

This is attempt numero uno. Not bad, really. My parents and siblings ate all of this up without having to be prompted, but I wanted to try another glaze. The first glaze was very reminiscent of orange chicken, which I enjoyed, but I didn't feel like it was really true to Tucanos form, so I moved on to glaze attempt number two! This time I used frozen mango.

1 cup water

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon grated ginger

1 cup frozen mango

I boiled these in a pan for about 10 minutes, then added lemon juice and pureed as last time. However, this time I pureed the glaze for a much shorter time, so it was a bit chunkier (which I believe is how it is at Tucanos? I can't quite remember).

18261368_1696153563746396_1481077020_o.jpg

This is attempt number two. The second glaze was a lot sweeter, but didn't have quite as deep of a taste. I'm honestly not sure which one I preferred, but I'd probably have to go with the second one, just because it was closer to the Tucanos recipe.

18289913_1696153537079732_1301500236_o.jpg

Here's some of the finished product. Basically, the batter for the fish was too egg-y for the tucanos fish, but still worked out fine. I think the second glaze was kind of close to the Tucanos glaze, at least in consistency and general sweetness. I made an edible and delicious meal! I did not however get super close to the Tucanos recipe.

18083549_1324745500953270_2037919414_o.jpg

(Not included: Puppy constantly causing trouble and distracting me continuously.)

Keep it real,
Sherpa Dave

Question #89545 posted on 04/29/2017 3:42 p.m.
Q:

Dear Man With A Mustache and 100 Hour Board,

Recently I was interested to read MwaM's comment on the comment board about pornography. As I understand it, he was arguing that a continuing pornography addiction should not prevent a couple from getting married. I admit I honestly have always thought that, barring personal revelation, it was not a good idea to marry someone with an ongoing pornography addiction.

I suppose I see it as similar to a drug addiction. I am very sympathetic to those with a drug or prescription medication addiction, and I realize that in some or many cases the addicted person may not really have a lot of control over being addicted right now. I know it's really difficult to kick a drug habit. But I wouldn't marry someone who still had a drug addiction and was using drugs.

So, MwaM, why is pornography different? Ubiquity? Not a serious sin? And to MwaM and other writers: is there a line you would set when dating in terms of pornography addiction? At what point would it probably be a deal breaker for you? Why?

-trying to be a good person

A:

Dear trying,

I don't deny that there are aspects of human behavior that should be major red flags. No matter how much you love someone, for example, abusive behavior is a major red flag. Drug addiction is a major red flag. So are pornography use, degree of honesty, degree of commitment to the Church, willingness to make sacrifices, eating behaviors, gender identity, sexual orientation, political views, money spending behaviors, gender role perceptions, career ambitions, native language barriers, degree of desire for children, and parenting style. I'm not saying they are all equal; in fact, they are not. Some are preferences whereas others are morally wrong. But, frankly, anything can be a deal breaker. Marrying a person is an inherently risky behavior because you're tying yourself to another person's qualities and their imperfections without reservation. You don't get to only experience the positive attributes of a person, and every single person has a set of weaknesses.

So, why is pornography different? Well, it isn't. It's just one of a list of things that a person has to decide to accept about me or not. It's totally cool with me if you decide that you can't handle dealing with porn addiction in your marriage. You are completely free to make that choice and I do not think that it makes you a terrible person or anything like that. Porn addiction is painful for everyone involved. It's hard for my wife for a variety of reasons that I'm sure you can imagine. It's hard for me to try so hard and relapse again, to feel like I could be a much better husband and father but to continually find myself in more or less the same place despite my efforts. It will be hard on my children when they find out (as, I fear, they inevitably will). It will be hard on me when I know they know and when it colors their perception of me. I fully recognize that recovery is my responsibility and I do what I can to work through it. But, frankly, I don't at this moment believe that I will ever be totally rid of it in this life.

So, I guess I could turn the question back around. Why is pornography different? Why should I be denied a chance at a happy life with a family that I build because I struggle with one aspect of the gospel while I simultaneously succeed at so many others? Where so many other imperfections can be just things to improve upon, does it seem right that there should be some rule that all people with an active pornography addiction should be unable to further relationships toward marriage? It seems better to me that each person gets to choose to accept the imperfections of another person based on their ability to cope with whatever they've got. My wife didn't pick me because I was working toward recovery when we met. She knew that about me, certainly, but her choice to marry me was made in spite and not because of my struggles. She took a risk, feeling that whatever strengths she perceived in me were more important than the struggles I have.

Was she right? I'm honestly not sure. I'm positive there have been times in our marriage when she has contemplated her decision and regretted it. She does not have an easy lot. As much as she knew about my problems, she couldn't have predicted the strength of her emotions surrounding my pornography addiction and how it makes her feel. We've had some long nights with lots of pain and heartbreak on both sides. I suppose we'll only know if it's worth it later on, at the end of our life, when we can look back on it all and see what became of what we did. For now though, we are both doing our best to raise a happy family in the gospel and to teach good principles to our children.

I've always said that the line to set has to do with a man and his desires. If you've got someone you love who struggles with something serious like substance or behavioral addiction, everything can be great as long as he is still willing to keep trying. The moment that spark of desire to get better goes out, you've got a problem on your hands. But as long as the desire to improve is there, I believe any storm can be weathered. What it comes down to, then, is whether or not you can handle it. I do not believe that every woman should be able to commit to any man with a pornography addiction. It's harder for some than for others and some people would struggle with it in such a way that it would prevent them from being happy in such a marriage. I don't judge that. But you should know that there are people out there who are willing to take a chance on people like me who might be unwilling to take a chance on people you're totally comfortable with. Making blanket rules like, "Men with pornography must be 'clean' for one month before going to the temple" or "All women should ignore pornography addiction and always give men they love a chance," ignores the more important task of making sound judgments about a person based on your knowledge of them. It ignores the reality that some men who use pornography regularly are better and more spiritual people than some men who have never used pornography. Because while addiction fuels a lot of imperfect behaviors, it does not define who that person is at their core.

All this to say that I don't really think pornography is "different" in the way you're thinking of it. I'm not making some special exception. It's just one in a list of many things to watch out for that a potential spouse can either choose to handle or reject.

Best,

The Man with a Mustache

Question #89511 posted on 04/27/2017 10:06 p.m.
Q:

Dear The Board,

We all have pet peeves and people we hate, so could you please come up with your own nine levels of Hell (à la Dante's Inferno) and tell me who you're sticking in each one?

Nellie Bly

A:

Dear Nessie,

1. People who spit on the ground. As punishment they shall be parched for all eternity, unable to gather enough saliva to lick a stamp, much less spit on anything.

2. Musicians who use siren noises in their songs. Fiery imps will prod them as they're forced to dance the Hokey Pokey ad infinitum.

3. People who touch the glass on a door to hold it open instead of using the handle. Verily, they will spend eternity wiping away an everlasting smudge.

4. Lobbyists. They shall treasure up their money, but it shall become slippery, like unto an eel. (Seriously, they're going to open their safety deposit boxes and electric eels will come pouring out.)

5. Litterers. Hell is a highway, stretching out infinitely far, lined with the cigarette butts of a billion angels.

6. Holocaust-deniers. Actually, they shall be mansplained to for all eternity.

7. Drunk drivers. DUIers (not to be confused with DIYers) shall be chained to a rock and have their livers eaten out over and over again.

8. Rapists. Rapists will be thrown into a bottomless pit of white-hot coals. (But they were asking for it when they showed up in Hell dressed like that.)

9. People who leave shopping carts in the parking lot. Well, I can't think of a punishment horrible enough for people like that. Use your imaginations.

-Genuine Article 

Question #89509 posted on 04/27/2017 4:20 p.m.
Q:

Dear The Board,

If you could place two teleporters anywhere in the world, where would you put them and why? You can use them to instantaneously transport people and goods, but once they're in place they can't be moved.

As a follow-up question, do you think it would/should be within the rights of whichever country you place them in to regulate them TSA-style?

-Nellie Bly

A:

Dear NB,

I'd put one at the bottom of the ocean (inspiration from XKCD) and the other somewhere just above its surface, then hook up some sort of hydroelectric generator. Using the figures from the comic plus the equations provided here: 720 watts times 400,000 liters per second times 24 hours times 365 days divided by 1,000 for unit conversion comes out to just over 2.5 billion kilowatt-hours of energy produced per year. Which sounded awesome until I looked at the total US energy usage per year: ~13,000 kWh/year times ~320 million people equals a total US energy consumption rate of over 4 trillion kWh per year.

A wardrobe-sized portal isn't going to cut it. Let's make it bigger.

The Panama Canal can fit ships with a width of 161 feet. Since some of the other answers assume the portal would be large enough to fit shipping, I'm going to make that same assumption and adjust the math accordingly. We'll say the portal is a 161-foot square, which translates approximately to a 50-meter square, or 2,500 square meters. Based on math found at Explain XKCD, the original equation appears to assume a wardrobe volume of two square meters. If I'm doing my math right, the increase in size would increase water throughput from 400,000 liters per second to 500,000,000 liters per second. If I run the equation from the first paragraph a second time, that gives us an output of just over 3 trillion kilowatt-hours, enough to provide about three-quarters of the annual US energy consumption, or over 10% of the world's total energy consumption.

Sure, pesky little things like physics and reality might get in the way, but when has that ever stopped me?

-yayfulness

Question #89491 posted on 04/26/2017 4:35 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Is it time for the Jedi to end?

-No, no, (*inhales*), no.

A:

Dear No

My 4yo is very concerned about which Jedi is going to end. He's asked me a good two dozen times since I showed him the trailer.

-Humble Master

Question #89462 posted on 04/24/2017 9:29 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What is a book you've read in the last year that you would recommend to others?

- Katya (Hooray! It's alumni week!)

A:

Dear Katya,

  • The Sabriel series, by Garth Nix
  • The Leviathan series, by Scott Westerfield
  • Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
  • The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien. It's shameful I hadn't read this before, but I just didn't find it interesting in 7th grade. But it's a great story.
  • The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman. Inverse Insomniac agrees that this is SOOOOO GOOD.

-El-ahrairah

Question #89458 posted on 07/26/2017 11:26 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Re: the Facebook comments conversation, can we get some visuals to divide the Board into eons, eras, periods, epochs, and ages? And provide Reasons?

...Or I guess with people that's called generations. But it's okay; sometimes rocks are better.

-Auto Surf

A:

Dear Auto Surf,

This was fun. You're also ridiculously lucky that the editors had mercy on me and let me hold it significantly past the end of Alumni Week so I could finish it properly.

Now, there are all sorts of ways to answer your question. Katya suggested dividing up the Board into its technological eras. Der Berliner thought that perhaps it would be good to look at the tenure of the various editors on the Board's history page. These are both good ideas which I will come back to at the end of my answer. But did I take them to heart?

No. Because that would be easy. And my life is pretty much defined by rejecting the perfectly acceptable easy way in order to do things the hard way instead.

So, despite never having done anything like it before, I decided to make and analyze a network diagram of writer contemporaries.

To start out, I took data on writer tenure from our internal Board directory, narrowed the dataset down to the 135 writers who had spent at least 12 months with the Board, and documented every pair of writers whose tenure overlapped in at least one calendar month. (There may have been cases in which one writer's final answer was written on, say, May 3, while another writer's first answer was written on May 25. They would be considered contemporaries, since I only know the month in which the answer was written, not the exact day. I imagine this doesn't apply to too many cases.) In total, that came out to 2,461 pairings. This is an extremely zoomed-out version of the chart:

big board project step 1.png

It was at this point, after putting in several hours of work that I really should have spent on homework instead, that I realized I have no idea how to turn this data into a network diagram, or if that's even possible in Excel. Luckily, while Excel itself doesn't support what I wanted to do, Google led me to a free Excel plug-in that can get the job done: NodeXL. From there, it was a simple but time-consuming matter to transfer the data into the NodeXL framework, and a few hours later, I was presented with this absolute piece of beauty:

big board project step 2.png

Each dot on the diagram represents a writer, and each line between two dots represents overlapping tenure with the Board. As you can see, the diagram can be intuitively divided into several clusters. Using my entirely unscientific intuition, I formalized that division as follows:

big board project step 3.png

(Note that the diagram is rotated every time I introduce any new data or elements; however, the spatial relationships remain the same.)

In the diagram above, you can see the flow of Board history in a sinuous path from the top left, to the center, to the center-right, to the bottom-center. Some of the borderline cases between groups are relatively arbitrary; for example, the lowest green dot on the chart (L'Afro) could arguably be moved into the blue group and fit just as well. However, for the most part, I think these are defensible divisions.

So how does that compare to a chronological analysis of writer tenure? I made another Excel chart, this time showing writer tenure by three-month block, and colored the writers' bars to match the network diagram:

big board project step 4.png

As you can see, there's still a fair bit of overlap between each group. In some cases, writers with unusually long tenures (compared to their contemporaries) were treated as members of a later group.

After further thought, I decided to divide the blue group (which stretched from early 2003 to late 2011) into two groups. I also took several transitional data points and removed their group designation entirely. Here's the result:

big board project step 5.png

It was at this point that I realized that the NodeXL could also cluster the connections between points, which makes for a much more intuitively understandable chart:

big board project step 6.png

The program also allows me to highlight dots and show their connections. I used this feature to highlight each group's connections.

Group 1: Orange (Early Board)

Earliest writers started: 1998

Majority of writers: 1998 to the second quarter of 2002

Last writers retired: the fourth quarter of 2002

big board project orange.png

Group 2: Yellow and Green (Early Board)

Earliest writers started: 1998

Majority of writers: the third quarter of 2002 to the fourth quarter of 2004

Last writers retired: the first quarter of 2006

big board project green.png

Group 3: Cyan (Middle Board)

Earliest writers started: the first quarter of 2003

Majority of writers: the third quarter of 2005 to the fourth quarter of 2006

Last writers retired: the first quarter of 2008

big board project aqua.png

Group 4: Blue (Middle Board)

Earliest writers started: the third quarter of 2006

Majority of writers: the fourth quarter of 2007 to the first quarter of 2010

Last writers retired: the fourth quarter of 2011

big board project blue.png

Group 5: Purple (Transition)

Earliest writers started: the second quarter of 2006

Majority of writers: never; peaked in 2010

Last writers retired: n/a

big board project pink.png

Group 6: Red (Late Board)

Earliest writers started: the fourth quarter of 2009

Majority of writers: the third quarter of 2011 to the present

Last writers retired: n/a

big board project red.png

In chart form, here's what that looks like:

big board project step 7.png

While my group descriptions noted the quarter that each group began to make up a majority of writers, it's better to think of transitional periods rather than exact transitional dates. Each transition takes anywhere from six months to one year, so an abbreviated listing of Board generations would look something like this:

  • First generation (orange): 1998 to early 2002
  • Second generation (yellow and green): late 2002 to late 2004
  • Third generation (cyan): mid 2005 to early 2007
  • Fourth generation (blue): late 2007 to early 2010
  • Transitional generation (purple): late 2009 to early 2011
  • Fifth generation (red): mid 2011 to present

Each of the first four generations lasted around three years, give or take. The fifth generation, however, has lasted around six years so far, and so far it resists easy attempts at breaking it up into smaller units. The best provisional transition I could come up with began around the end of 2015. Here's what that generation's connections look like:

big board project future.png

And here's how that group appears on the chart.

big board project step 8.png

Finally, here's a version of the diagram with several notable writers highlighted.

big board project step 9_1.png

As it turns out, some of these eras correspond to important milestones in Board history. Although odds are you've never noticed it, there is a history page embedded under the "About Us" section, with entries by every head editor from 1998 to 2012. The timeline runs as follows:

  • 1995, give or take a few years: The physical Board is founded
  • 1998: The Board goes online under Andy Pearson, who then hands control over to Matt Astle
  • 2000: Matt Astle passes Headitorship to Eric Carlson
  • 2002: Eric Carlson passes Headitorship to Jennifer Stubben
  • 2003: Jennifer Stubben passes Headitorship to Erin Hallmark; the current system of question numbering is implemented and Board Question #1 is published
  • 2005: The Great BYUSA Drama occurs; Headitorship passes from Erin Hallmark through the Linguistics Society to Ethan Bratt
  • 2006: Ethan Bratt secures the Board's home with the Daily Universe and passes the torch to Sam Orme
  • 2006-2007: Katya numbers all of the pre-2003 questions
  • 2007: Sam Orme passes Headitorship to Yellow
  • 2009: Yellow passes Headitorship to Sky Bones
  • 2010: Board 5.0 (the basis for the current format) is implemented
  • 2012: The partnership between the Board and the Daily Universe ends, as does the tenure of Sky Bones and the public written history of the Board's leadership

As you can see, a few events correspond to major generational transitions. The Board's departure from BYUSA corresponds with the shift from the Early Board to the Middle Board. The implementation of Board 5.0 corresponds with the shift from the Middle Board to the Late Board. Nearly every generational transition, of course, matches up with a change in Headitorship. And with Zedability's retirement and the imminent and unpredictable changes to the Board's web hosting situation, we very well might be on the verge of experiencing the dawn of the sixth generation, which I believe retroactively justifies my three months of procrastination on this answer. Where will this take us? Is it actually a generational shift in writers or just a change in the Board's functionality? We probably won't know for several years, maybe longer. So, Auto Surf, set your calendar for Alumni Week 2020 and don't let me forget.

Until next year,

-yayfulness

Question #89437 posted on 04/25/2017 2:38 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why is it that sometimes, when you're on an elevator going up, it feels like you're going down (and vice versa)?

-Argile

A:

Dear Arg,

Right at about the turn of the 20th century, we thought we knew and understood everything there was to know and understand about physics. Specifically, about pulleys. You've probably heard of a pulley. It's one of the six "simple machines", hypothetical mathematical objects at the basis of theoretical physics, the other five being the level, the wheel and axle, the inclined plane, the box, and the perpetual motion machine. Until recently the only of these objects that had been created experimentally were the pulley, realized during the Renaissance by Leonardo Da Vinci, and the perpetual motion machine, used by the ancient Egyptians and regarded by most scientists to have been gifted to them by an alien race. As such, almost the entirety of "real-world" physics was thought to be the study of pulleys, the basics of which comprise most introductory physics courses. (Of course, what you're taught is a sort of "idealized" version of the pulley. In reality pulleys are actually frictionless, massless, and behave like simple harmonic oscillators. The maths required to study a "real-world" object is generally regarded as too much and is eschewed lest we scare away potential research servants.)

The foundational breakthrough of "modern" physics, then, was the discovery of the box. No one understands how we were able to finally create a "real-world" box* but research into boxes by many turn-of-the-century physicists led to the development of a new branch of physics, quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics is, simply put, the study of what happens inside boxes. You've probably heard of some of the more startling consequences of quantum mechanics, such as Schrödinger's cat, the uncertainty principle, and quantized energy levels. Schrödinger's cat is an interesting experiment carried out by Ewrin Schrödinger in 1935. Schrödinger placed a cat inside a box and observed what happened. Of course, when something is in a box you can't observe it, so there was no way to know what happened. Was the cat dead? Was the cat alive? You can't know until you open the box and look. Sometimes the cat was dead and other times it was alive, but until the box was open there was no way to know. According to one interpretation of quantum mechanics, until the box is open the cat is both simultaneously dead and alive, a situation called a "superposition" or "zombism". In another interpretation (and the interpretation I personally believe) when a box is closed, parallel universes corresponding to the cat being dead or alive and their relative probabilities are created and we are unable to know in which one we reside until the box is opened. The uncertainty principle is a mathematical formalism created by Werner Heisenberg to model what goes on inside boxes. As implied by the name, the uncertainty principle shows deterministically that what occurs inside a box is unknowable. Lastly, quantized energy levels refers to how numbers describing properties of boxes occur in discrete intervals. In the example of Schrödinger's cat, while the cat may have been dead or alive or both, there would always be an integral number of cats.

If you're a student of scientific history, that last consequence may surprise you. In his famous notebook Da Vinci records the results of his experiments which consisted of attaching cats and other objects to pulleys. What he found by so doing is that the object he placed on a pulley could then raise them to any height, even a non-integral number. Mathematically, pulleys are continuous functions while boxes are discrete functions. So what happened when we put a box on a pulley? The startling results were discovered by Elisha Graves Otis, inventor of the elevator. Elisha has assumed that attaching a box to a pulley would allow him to raise that box to any height. To his surprise, boxes on pulleys can only be raised to discrete heights, which Elisha recognized could correspond to the discrete floors in a building, which is how he went on to capitalize on his invention. The actual mathematics of these box/pulley combinations (elevators) are extremely complicated but engineers have perfected them so that there is only a slim chance of dying when you ride one. (You may have noticed how many elevators don't have a 13th floor. This is the most dangerous number and it is very difficult to remain alive when a box is attached to this number.)

So, now that you're primed on elevator mechanics**, a branch of quantum mechanics, let's get to the crux of your question. You're probably familiar with general relativity, a theory of magic proposed by German warlock Albert Einstein. Einstein talked about "gravity" which he found to be how much it felt like you were moving up or down. (One of the more interesting results of Einstein's theory is that "artificial" gravity, that is gravity created by magic, is indistinguishable from "real" gravity, gravity which has existed since the beginning of time.) The problem arises when a person steps into an elevator. What wins? Physics or magic? Einstein's theories fail in the extreme cases of quantum mechanics while quantum mechanics are unable to predict how much it feels like you're moving up and down. Much work in science today is in creating a "unified" theory, one which takes both the science of boxes and combines it with the magic of gravity. So ultimately, we don't know the answer to your question but we hope to someday soon.

-Terrible Scientist

*Nor we will ever be able to, a paradox at the heart of quantum mechanics
**I failed to mention this earlier, but it's worth noting: according to one interpretation of quantum mechanics, elevators are essentially portals to nearly identical parallel universes. Fascinating stuff!

Question #89379 posted on 04/22/2017 7:02 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why is AIDS associated with homosexuality, and why at the peak of the American epidemic did it primarily affect gay men? It can be transmitted via any kind of sex, right? So shouldn't it show up at the same rate in heterosexuals as in those with other sexual orientations?

-Thusly

A:

Dear Thusly,

Thanks for asking this question. As a member of the gay community (albeit the gay female community), accuracy and historical understanding is really important to me.

Current US AIDS statistics

Before we go back in time to how things got this way, let's review the current HIV/AIDS statistics. According to the CDC's statistics on HIV in the United States, HIV continues to affect the gay and bisexual male community disproportionately. (From here on out, I'm going to use GBM for "Gay and Bisexual Men," just to make this less clunky.) While there are positive developments related to HIV in the States (for example, new cases declined by almost 20% between 2005 and 2014), 67% of all people with new HIV diagnoses in 2015 were GBM. Heterosexual sexual contact accounted for 24% of all new HIV diagnoses, and IV drug use accounted for 6%. So, even today, while you can contract HIV from heterosexual sex and injection drug use, GBM have more new HIV diagnoses than any other group. The reasons for this are a little complicated and they go back decades.

Very important sidenote: HIV continues to be a major issue in the American LGBTQ community today, because it affects a disproportionate number of people of color. In 2015, black GBM had the most new HIV diagnoses at 26% of all new cases, and white GBM had the second most new HIV diagnoses at 19%. The most troubling part of these statistics is that, while white GBM experienced a decline of 18% of new HIV diagnoses between 2005 and 2014, new cases among Latino/Hispanic and African American GBM each rose by more than 20%. New HIV diagnoses among young African American GBM rose by 87% over the same time period. These higher rates of infection have to do with increased stigma in the culture of those groups and with all of the ways those groups are disenfranchised: lower education levels, poverty, less access to medical care, higher levels of migration, possible language barriers, and higher rates of other STIs. These increases in new cases, however, are also reflections of some of the issues that helped to deepen the original AIDS epidemic back in the 1980s.

Stonewall, gay liberation, and the arrival of HIV/AIDS

So, let's go backward in time and get a little American gay history. Before 1969, the American LGBTQ community was almost completely deeply closeted. Any dating, sex, or identifying as LGBTQ had to be done in secret, and if you were outed you were ruined. LGBTQ people were disowned by their families, fired from their jobs, kicked out of their housing, and condemned and derided by their religious leaders. LGBTQ people were also frequently murdered or beaten and they had no way of defending themselves, because standing up for themselves would have meant outing themselves. Some bars became de facto gay meeting places. The police would conduct raids, which were often very violent, and they would haul the people they found in the bars off to jail, outing them and ruining their lives. In one such bar in Manhattan, called the Stonewall Inn, the police conducted a raid in June of 1969. A series of violent demonstrations lasting six days erupted in response during which LGBTQ people began fighting back. (Note: The Stonewall riots were started by transgender women of color, not white gay men.) While there had been earlier demonstrations in response to police raids, the Stonewall riots were the first to be significantly publicized. This event motivated the LGBTQ community to come together in an organized, out way to fight for more equality. It also led to the LGBTQ community being willing to use less socially acceptable methods in advocating for themselves. They went from marching in straight lines dressed in Sunday best in 1968 to holding hands with their partners at a protest in July 1969. It was an abrupt and powerful change. It's also why Gay Pride events are traditionally held in June.

Anyway, Stonewall kicked off a new chapter gay liberation movement. On the one-year anniversary of Stonewall, June 28, 1970, the first American gay pride marches (then called Gay Liberation Day parades or by other names) were held in Chicago and Los Angeles. By 1972, gay pride marches happened in 12 American cities. An early gay rights advocate, Frank Kameny, who did highly influential work with the Mattachine Society in the 1950s and 60s, said that at the time of Stonewall there were 50 or 60 gay rights organizations in the United States. A year later, he estimated that there were more than 1,500. In 1973, two elected officials in Ann Arbor came out. In 1974, a different incumbent in Ann Arbor who had come out was reelected. In 1976, an openly gay non-incumbent named Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. After the team behind it successfully passed homophobic legislation in states across the country, the Briggs Initiative was defeated in California in 1978. Harvey Milk and other California gay rights leaders advocated coming out as a strategy to defeat the measure in order, believing that homophobia would diminish once people knew they loved a gay person. This was a new idea for a community that had been almost completely closeted less than a decade before. It's really hard to overstate the changes the community went through in this brief time. Suddenly it was easy to find many other gay people who understood you, not just in bars but out in the open, provided that you could get to a major city. It was possible and positive to advocate for your own better treatment. People began coming out, freeing themselves from the limits of the closet, and moving to cities with large gay populations. San Francisco and New York became especially prominent gay centers. 

In places like San Francisco and New York in the 1970s, people were consciously shaking off the shame of the closet. They were consciously deciding to celebrate who they were. One of the ways that GBM in these centers celebrated who they were was through sex. These men had spent their entire lives pretending to be (and often trying to be) something different than what they were. They had been made to fear for their lives, their souls, their jobs, and their relationships for being attracted to who they were attracted to. A major value in the gay male community of the day, therefore, was free love. They refused to be hemmed in by societal expectations, as society had made it clear that it did not want them. It's worth mentioning, of course, that American society at large had undergone a sexual revolution during the 1960s, so straight people were also having more sex with less guilt than they had before. The free sexual environment during the gay liberation movement was one extension of that. People also started coming out very young and moving to large cities with large gay populations, so teenage and young adult men were offered unlimited, joyful sex with as many partners as they wanted, and they took it. Because free love was such a prominent value in the gay male community, the bathhouses were a major community center. There was also a cavalier attitude about condom use because prominent STIs of the time period, such as chlamydia, were curable with antibiotics. Condoms were also seen as a straight problem, as pregnancy was not an issue and no one had received sex education that included the risks of same-sex sexual behavior. Recreational drug use was also pretty common. Poppers, a then-popular inhalant that causes an intense high popular at clubs, were especially ubiquitous. Poppers can lead to a more intense sexual experience with less buildup, which can lead to more tearing of the mucous membranes, which causes easier transmission of HIV. Anal sex, whether between homosexual or heterosexual partners, is also more likely to cause tearing than other types of sex because the lining of the rectum is very thin, and anal sex is a prominent sexual act in the GBM community. More importantly, HIV more easily permeates the mucous membranes in the intestines, including the rectum, than the mucous membranes of the vagina or the mouth. (Receptive anal sex is by far the most risky sexual behavior in terms of HIV, followed by insertive anal sex and vaginal sex. Oral sex and other sexual acts pose little to no risk.)

To sum up: Large communities of gay men came together to celebrate their newfound freedom. A prominent expression of that freedom was sex, with as many partners as one wanted, most of whom were also having very large amounts of sex with many partners. This was done without protection, which increased the risk. This created a prime scenario for widespread HIV infection. Note: It's really important not to judge the early gay male community for this. They were just beginning to reclaim themselves from shame following being completely rejected by society, their families, and their religions. Suicide was very common among LGBTQ people at this time. The community engaged in some unwise behavior (with the best intentions behind their value system), but the penalty for that behavior should not be a slow, painful, undignified mass death that wipes out an entire community. They did not deserve what they got.

AIDS, yet undiscovered and undescribed, had caused symptoms such as wasting in Africa by the mid-1970s, and there is evidence that it killed a Norwegian sailor in 1976. HIV arrived in the States sometime around 1970 or 1971, probably from Haiti, where it arrived around 1966. Many Haitians worked in the parts of Africa where HIV originated around the turn of the 20th century. It arrived in New York pretty soon thereafter and arrived in San Francisco around 1976. Once HIV arrived in the concentrated gay male communities in cities like San Francisco and New York, it was quickly passed from person to person. Making matters worse, HIV is asymptomatic for years, so no one in those communities knew what was happening until people were dying and many of them were infected. By the time that Harvey Milk's murderer was convicted of voluntary manslaughter rather than first degree murder using a highly dubious defense in 1979, an estimated 10% of the gay men in San Francisco were already infected.

A history of scientific advancements in HIV/AIDS research and treatment, 1981-1995

In 1981, the disease that would later be named AIDS was medically observed and described for the first time. The CDC published a report of unusual cases of pneumocystis pneumonia in five gay men in Los Angeles. Pneumocystis pneumonia only occurs in people with suppressed immune systems, but there was no reason for these young, seemingly healthy men to have it. Over the next year or so, more clusters of pneumocystis pneumonia and other opportunistic infections, such as Kaposi sarcoma, were discovered. Because the first medically documented cases of AIDS were among gay men, in 1982 the disease was named GRID, Gay-Related Immune Deficiency. It was not yet known what caused AIDS or how it was transmitted, but AIDS' first name connected it solely to the gay community. During this same time, AIDS was also called "the gay cancer," with some, both inside and outside the community, believing that just being gay was making these people die, and some people feeling that gay people deserved this apparent punishment from God. Medical professionals soon noticed that half the men with AIDS were not homosexuals, though most of the others were Haitians, (IV) heroin-users, or hemophiliacs. This caused some people to begin calling it 4-H Disease. By late 1982, the CDC had coined the term AIDS and declared that there was a sexual component to its transmission, though they still did not know what caused it.

Medical progress on HIV was slow. The virus that would be named HIV in 1986 was discovered in 1983 and again separately in 1984. The virus would later be confirmed to be the cause of AIDS. In September 1983 the CDC had mapped all of HIV's major transmission routes, including sexual contact (opposite sex as well as same sex), IV drug use, blood transfusions, and from mother to child during childbirth. They ruled out transmission through casual contact and transmission through the air or water. In November 1983, the WHO held its first meeting to assess the AIDS situation. By this time, over 1,200 Americans had already died of the disease. When HIV was discovered the second time in 1984, the researcher who discovered it estimated that there would be a vaccine within two years. It would take almost that long for a screening test for HIV to become available. By this time, an estimated 50% of the gay men in San Francisco were already infected. A more specific HIV screening test was not available until 1987, a month after AZT, the first drug approved to treat AIDS, was approved by the FDA. Prior to AZT, AIDS was universally fatal, and death usually occurred one to two years after diagnosis with AIDS. Because AZT was not effective by itself, was prohibitively expensive, and had side effects which were intolerable to many people who tried to take it, AZT did not much improve the situation. AZT also did not stop people from eventually succumbing to the disease. Protease inhibitors, which began the era of effective AIDS treatment, were not available until 1995. By then, around 300,000 Americans had died of AIDS. Earlier in 1995, the New York Times had reported that AIDS had become the leading cause of death for all Americans between the ages of 25 and 44.

Effects on the gay community and other affected communities

AIDS devastated the gay community. Many thousands died. People lost friends, lovers, and partners at such a staggering rate that by the later 1980s many had lost count. Many survivors compare their experiences at the height of the epidemic to living in a war zone. Many of them felt that they would all die. At the height of the epidemic, the Bay Area Reporter, a gay weekly San Francisco newspaper, published as many as 31 AIDS-related obituaries in one week. Its annual retrospectives featuring all who had died of AIDS during that year went on for pages and pages. It took until 1998 for the Reporter to publish an issue with no AIDS-related obituaries.

Hospitals would refuse to treat AIDS patients out of fear of being labeled an "AIDS hospital." Funeral homes refused to take the bodies of those who died of AIDS or hold funerals for them. Some airlines would not allow people with AIDS to fly. People would not even go near the infected, especially the sick. Opportunistic infections associated with AIDS caused a host of medical problems, such as blindness, deafness, wasting, pneumonia, cancer, profound weakness, and intense pain. With no one else to help, members of the gay community did a heroic job of helping themselves. Countless organizations were started within the community to address the various needs of a sick and dying populace. Meals were delivered to those too ill to cook for themselves who were dying of wasting. Friends took turns caring for each other, rotating between who was well. Counseling and companionship services were set up so no one had to face death alone when his friends had all died before him. When funeral homes could not be found, they buried their dead themselves. Money was shared. One HIV+ San Francisco artist even started a charity to ensure that artists had access to art supplies when they could no longer afford them because they could not work and had huge medical expenses. Cleve Jones, a gay rights and AIDS activist, started the AIDS Memorial Quilt, which was first shown on the National Mall in Washington in 1987. All of this was done by people who were sick themselves and staring down what was, at the time, inevitable death.

Profoundly, the lesbian community, which had long been mistreated and excluded by the gay male community (as well as being mistreated by and excluded from women's groups at the same time), stepped in and cared for sick gay men when no one else would. Sex between women is at very low risk for HIV transmission, so lesbians were not dying or sick. Still, lesbians came to the aid of gay men when they needed it most in a matchless way. They participated in every AIDS-related relief organization, took up AIDS advocacy, and took care of the sick and dying. Many survivors of the AIDS epidemic have said that we would all be lucky to belong to a community that took care of its own in the way that the gay community did during that time. If Stonewall proved that queers were not limp-wristed fairies who would weakly accept mistreatment, the community's response to AIDS proved that they were not two-dimensional, sex-crazed degenerates. They cared for each other selflessly and courageously.

Misconceptions of how the disease was spread and homophobia combined to create intense fear and hatred toward AIDS victims, especially gay men but also people with hemophilia and people who contracted AIDS through blood transfusions. The hemophilia community was also devastated by AIDS. 90% of those with severe hemophilia contracted HIV during the 1980s and thousands died. Young children with hemophilia who contracted AIDS were stopped from going to school by the hateful protests and threats of their neighbors. The homes of one family with children with hemophilia and AIDS was burned down to force family out of the community. Infected children were called the worst gay slurs. People who contracted AIDS through blood transfusions faced similar discrimination. Still, activists from these communities fought back and made meaningful contributions in the fight against AIDS. Ryan White, a child with hemophilia who contracted AIDS, became the national face of children with AIDS who fought to continue to attend school. Arthur Ashe, a famous tennis player, contracted HIV from a blood transfusion during heart surgery. In 1992 he publicly announced that he had AIDS, facing incredible scrutiny, and then he created his own foundation to raise awareness and educate people on safe sex and AIDS.

Political negligence and homophobia

One of the reasons that medical progress was slow and that the AIDS epidemic lasted as long as it did was apathy on the part of the government and especially the president. Though he publicly opposed the Briggs Initiative in 1978, then-President Reagan ignored the AIDS crisis, believing it to be a gay issue rather than a health issue. A significant portion of President Reagan's base was the then-newly identified religious right. The Moral Majority, a new political organization, contributed to this movement, and its founder, Baptist minister Jerry Falwell, once said, "AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharaoh's charioteers." In 1983, while Ronald Reagan was president but two years before he would serve as President Reagan's Director of Communications, Pat Buchanan wrote an op ed in the New York Post that said, in part, "The poor homosexuals -- they have declared war on nature, and now nature is exacting an awful retribution." It also described the gay community as "a common carrier of dangerous, communicable, and sometimes fatal diseases." Perhaps because of all this pressure, and the fact that President Reagan had campaigned as an anti-gay candidate in 1980, Reagan did not even say the word AIDS in public until 1985. This came after a famous actor (whom Reagan had known personally) named Rock Hudson died and mutual friend Elizabeth Taylor urged President Reagan to acknowledge that now he, too, knew someone with AIDS. In 1987, near the end of President Reagan's second term, he did finally address the issue of AIDS at the third International Conference on AIDS. By then, almost 21,000 Americans had died.

Meanwhile, Dr. C. Everett Koop, the surgeon general, has said that he was kept out of all AIDS discussions during the first five years of the Reagan administration. According to Dr. Koop, this was "because transmission of AIDS was understood to be primarily in the homosexual population and in those who abused intravenous drugs" and due to the attitude of the president's advisers, which was "they are only getting what they justly deserve." Treatment and research professionals at every level, including at the CDC and NIH, constantly requested more funding than they had to deal with the AIDS crisis. Their requests were routinely denied. President Reagan publicly opposed an increase in spending on AIDS research when the most prominent AIDS researcher in the country said that the current funding was "not nearly enough." Members of the administration publicly lobbied against sex and AIDS education both in high-risk communities and in schools. President Reagan eventually spoke out to agree with them. Along this vein, President Reagan said in 1987, "After all, when it comes to preventing AIDS, don't medicine and morality teach the same lessons?" In 1985, President Reagan directly contributed to the anti-AIDS (and thereby the anti-gay) hysteria that was keeping children with AIDS out of schools when he answered a question at a press conference about whether he would send his child to a school with a child who had AIDS. He said, "I'm glad I'm not faced with that problem today. ... It is true that some medical sources had said that this cannot be communicated in any way other than the ones we already know and which would not involve a child being in the school. And yet medicine has not come forth unequivocally and said, 'This we know for a fact, that it is safe.' And until they do, I think we just have to do the best we can with this problem. I can understand both sides of it." The CDC had, in fact, stated unequivocally that transmission through casual contact or the air was not possible two years earlier.

At a press conference in 1982, a reporter asked the press secretary about the epidemic and whether President Reagan had ever spoken about it. "I don't know a thing about it," the press secretary said. After the reporter pointed out that 1 in 3 people with the disease had died from what was then called the "gay plague," the press pool laughed and, as they did so, the press secretary said, "I don't have it. Do you?" Over the next year, the same reporter would ask the same questions about the epidemic with the same result -- laughter. The press secretary once retorted that the reporter had an "abiding interest" in "fairies." The president said nothing.

President Reagan failed to control the homophobic and AIDS-phobic attitudes of his administration and party, and he himself demonstrated apathy and a lack of vision on AIDS during his presidency from 1981 to 1989. President Bush would bring more of the same. The tide would not begin to turn until a gay AIDS activist named Bob Rafsky aggressively confronted then-candidate Bill Clinton at a 1992 campaign rally and Clinton responded by publicly promising to address the AIDS epidemic and support its victims. By then, approximately 200,000 Americans had died of AIDS.

ACT UP, fight back, fight AIDS

In addition to the political climate, treatments were initially nonexistent and then expensive and ineffective, and the process to get medications approved at that time seemed needlessly and negligently long to AIDS activists. It took six years from the initial CDC report on AIDS for the first AIDS treatment drug, AZT, to be tested and approved. At that time, over 20,000 Americans had died of the disease and the average life expectancy from diagnosis was one to two years. Though AZT, which had was originally developed as a cancer drug, had been approved in record time, the approval process had still taken 25 months. Facing death in less time than the process took to approve already-existing drugs, AIDS activists were enraged. AZT was also the most expensive drug in history, costing about $10,000 for a year of treatment. ($10,000 in 1987 adjusted for inflation is roughly equal to $21,000 in 2017.) This was well outside what the average AIDS patient could afford.

In response to these and other issues, a direct action advocacy group called ACT UP (AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power) was formed in March 1987 at the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center in New York. ACT UP's motto of "Silence=Death" and its ability to turn out hundreds or thousands of people to protests (many of whom were arrested each time) got it and its concerns widespread media coverage, and they got results. Several days after its first series of protests at Wall Street in late March and early April 1987, in which they protested the lack of a national, coordinated strategy on AIDS, the lack of transparency of and access to the drug testing process, and the high price of AZT, the company that owned AZT announced that the price would drop to $6,400 per year. Soon thereafter, the FDA announced plans to significantly shorten the time it took to get through the approval process.

In 1988, ACT UP successfully shut down the FDA for a day in order to process the continuing issues with drug testing. The turnout to this protest, the media said, was the largest event of its kind since the Vietnam War, and it resulted in massive media coverage. At this event, the protesters were able to demonstrate how knowledgeable and savvy they had become when they demanded specific improvements that could be made. As a result, gay and AIDS activists were asked for input by the FDA and NIH and were allowed greater access.

During this time, AIDS activists assumed that there was an existing drug that, if tried on AIDS alone or in combination with other existing drugs, would be effective. They therefore pushed for, and got, much shorter testing and approval processes on many drugs, including DDI, which helped prevent blindness caused by one of the opportunistic infections associated with AIDS. They also fought for the right to use other drugs which were believed to be potentially helpful against AIDS but which were not approved by the FDA despite being available over the counter in other industrialized nations. This was especially important to the community because AZT was initially given in extremely high doses which caused side effects that were often intolerable to AIDS patients. (None of these drugs proved to be effective against AIDS.) ACT UP also fought for more humane testing protocols, representation of people of color, women's issues, housing protections, and accurate reporting of AIDS facts and against homophobia, religious intolerance, unfair travel and immigration policies based on AIDS status, and apathy. In a time of intense homophobia and AIDS-phobia, and without any government support, ACT UP was able to make many extremely positive changes for people with AIDS.

A part of ACT UP, called the Treatment and Data Committee, specialized in learning about the testing and approval process for drugs as well as the current science behind drug development. They were aided by a chemist named Iris Long, who had no prior connection to the LGBTQ community. After listening to their approach, she suggested that she could help them improve it. She taught the members of Treatment and Data about the current AIDS drugs and the ins and outs of the testing and approval process. They began to digest huge amounts of the medical and testing literature and bring that information back to the larger body of ACT UP. Because they were so knowledgeable, they were taken seriously by the scientific community and they were able to gain unprecedented access to the process. They were able to secure a position of power for people with AIDS and make real contributions. This was especially true after they wrote and presented a pamphlet which outlined specific and realistic changes that could be made to drug testing to make it more time effective and humane.

Treatment and Data eventually split off from the main body of ACT UP due to conflict within the group. The main body of ACT UP felt that Treatment and Data had become too close to oppressive pharmaceutical companies and other negative forces, and Treatment and Data felt that ACT UP was overly concerned with social issues. In 1992, Treatment and Data became TAG (Treatment Action Group). The members sat on committees at the FDA, such as the Anti-Viral Advisory Committee, and they were vital to streamlining the process and personally designing the trials that led to the release of protease inhibitors, which in combination with other drugs transformed AIDS from a death sentence to a manageable chronic disease. In 1995 and 1996, the death rates related to AIDS dropped dramatically, and many people's viral loads dropped to undetectable levels. TAG was vital to this process that has since saved millions of lives and restored life expectancies to normal or near-normal. One of the founders of TAG, Mark Harrington, was awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant in 1997 for his work on AIDS. Together, ACT UP and TAG's gains in access to all steps of the process for victims and advocates were unprecedented for any disease. Patient-centered care, medical care homes, patient advocacy, and other movements all have their roots in AIDS activism.

Conclusions

I believe I have answered your second question (in case I haven't: societal factors and activists energized gay liberation, gay men were concentrated into metropolitan areas with shared risky behaviors, the majority of gay men were infected, existing prevalence within the group with limited partners made each sex act more risky, anal sex is the most risky sex act for HIV transmission, and ongoing issues related to education, etc. continue to contribute), so now I will circle back to your first one: Why is AIDS associated with homosexuality? There are a lot of bad reasons for this, of course. As I said in the beginning, HIV continues to affect GBM (especially GBM of color) more than it affects other groups. A lot of it also has to do with homophobia, because AIDS gave a convenient excuse to hate and fear gay people that seemed pseudo-scientific and was widespread. The attitude persists among many that the gay community got what it deserved, either because it had offended God or because it had engaged in reckless and (per their opinion) immoral, unnatural, or disgusting behavior. The stigma is still potent enough that I have a positive friend who has told no one but me about his status.

However, I think there are a lot of good reasons for this, too. The AIDS epidemic was an almost incomprehensible tragedy for all involved. However, when faced with death, disease, fear, loss, hatred, lack of support, violence, and their own mortality, the gay community and their supporters showed the world how to deal with tragedy. They showed up for each other in ways that most of us will never understand. They advocated for their community even when they were sure that they themselves would die in case they could save lives. They forgave each other for serious slights in order to help each other. They showed incredible bravery and intelligence and they did not allow the outside hatred to turn inward. I am incredibly proud to belong to their group.

The AIDS crisis brought attention to the LGBTQ community, and the community pulled together in that tragedy. Both of these circumstances have enabled the community to make all of the recent advancements in LGBTQ rights. We also, however, lost a generation of brilliant, vibrant, beautiful people who cannot be replaced. If you are interested in this topic, there are two documentaries, both on Netflix, which I cannot recommend enough. How to Survive a Plague is about ACT UP and TAG in New York during the height of the epidemic. We Were Here is about life in San Francisco before, during, and just after the epidemic.

- The Black Sheep

Question #89345 posted on 04/16/2017 1:44 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Is mayonnaise an instrument?

-Patrick Star

A:

Dear Pat,

I did some research.

17837793_1664134246948328_437609607_o.jpg

17797898_1664134236948329_781030404_o.jpg

 17858375_1664134226948330_1417542436_o (1)_1.jpg

17858375_1664134226948330_1417542436_o.jpg

Keep it real,
Sherpa Dave 

Question #89268 posted on 05/08/2017 10:08 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'm looking for religious artwork to use in my new home. In particular, I'm looking for paintings of Christ. My frustration is that all of the paintings of Christ I am finding are very...white, and I'm looking for artwork that is more reflective of what Christ really looked like, as well as artwork that is representative of how other non-white cultures conceptualize Christ. What are your favorite pieces of artwork of Christ that don't depict him as obviously white?

-Rani

A:

Dear frog princess,

Sorry I held this over for so long, but hopefully this will be worth your while. 

This question came in just a few days after a piece in the Provo Temple made me cry. Looking back on it, Christ is quite light-skinned, but I like that he's still ethnically ambiguous. And that his deep-set eyes still shine. I'll have to find a place to hang this one when I one day have means to buy it. Here it is, by Jeff Hein:  

 Screen Shot 2017-04-12 at 4.49.37 PM.png

That was my favorite portrayal when I first read the question, but then I got excited and made tables of more. 

 1: "Maybe You Could Find Me in Seagull Book" 

You can see the same table but with previews of the photos here. 

Artist Site Artwork
Jeff Hein
     
Christ Heals the Sick Christ Washing Apostle's Feet  
Jeremy Winborg
     
And He Blessed Them One By One The Raising of the Daughter of Jairus  
Brent Borup
   
Greatest In the Kingdom (Boy) Greatest In the Kingdom (Girl) That They Might Have Joy
Howard Lyon
     
Redeemer Light of the World Though Your Sins be as Scarlet
Greg Olsen
     
Out of the Wilderness Joy of the Lord The Way of Joy


 Some comments: 

-Depedning on the artist, Christ may be more or less light-skinned. However, the facial structure and features don't seem to be typical Anglo-Saxon features. 
-I'm a big fan of Brent Bessop, and his are a bit more affordable than others, depending on the style. Plus, it seems easier to commission from him if you wanted. 

1.B: I actually went to Deseret Book and snapped shots of ones I thought you might like. 

Here's that table. Most of them are by David Bowman, and I've become a big fan of his work. 

 

2. From the Alumni

Pilgrim showed me this picture, which is strikingly beautiful. And Heidi Book shared some nativity scenes that she got from a friend who's an art history major, and looking at them made me want to be an art history major, for there seems to be a lot of truth that my untrained eyes can't see. Here is the table of those paintings.

 

3. He is not here, for He is risen.  

Based on the following quote from Greg Olsen, these next few paintings  all by artist Ron Richmond  might be some of my absolute favorites. 

“The idea of doing a painting which somehow claims to be a representation of the Savior Jesus Christ seems both presumptuous and impossible. At the very least it is intimidating. Each individual Christian probably has a very personal and unique image of Him in their mind, none of which an artist can duplicate or fully capture. My intent has been to paint images that I refer to as “symbols” of Him. They are an attempt to capture my feelings about Him and to reflect some aspect of His spirit and character. The intent of such a painting is to help us remember Him, and as we do, we invite His spirit to be with us.” 

Screen Shot 2017-05-07 at 3.51.08 PM.pngsourceScreen Shot 2017-05-07 at 3.51.17 PM.pngsource

These works, with the human figure being absent but the heartfelt characteristic standing strong, remind me that Christ is in everything. Through their principles I can better understand that the physical world is a key to understanding the spiritual.

I met this artist once, and we joked that some people don't like his paintings because they are a bit 'dark' to represent Christ.  But, the way I see it in order to complete his mission, Christ had to become well-acquainted with darkness. How else could He overcome it? And how else can we, but through him? 

Take care,

-Auto Surf

Question #89259 posted on 03/31/2017 11:52 p.m.
Q:

Dear The Board,

Can you help me come up with 30 synonyms for the adjective "little," listed in order of size? For example, would you consider wee to be bigger or smaller than tiny?

-Nellie Bly

A:
Dear Nancy,
 
Here is a completely objective and non-arbitrary list of synonyms for little with their relative sizes, starting with the most Lilliputian. 
  1. Infinitesimal: the size of an individual element in the Cantor Set (fun fact: the Cantor Set has a length of 0, but is still uncountably infinite; it's also perfect).
  2. Microscopic: the size of a single cell.
  3. Imperceptible: the size of a dust mote.
  4. Negligible: Just one more bite of something delicious.
  5. Minuscule: the physical energy it takes to type out these words.
  6. Teensy weensy: the amount of relief I ever feel during a semester; oh I just somehow finished a difficult midterm in an hour since that's when the testing center closed? Time to get ready for the even harder midterm directly following it!
  7. Eensy weensy: the size of a spider baby
  8. Itsby bitsy: the size of two spider babies.
  9. Miniature: the size of the angels dancing on the head of a pin.
  10. Diminutive: the size of the Who Horton hears.
  11. Minute: the space between two stitches in a dress.
  12. Itty bitty: the inside of a jinni's lamp.
  13. Puny: the size of our ambitions when compared with the vastness of all of space and time.
  14. Teeny: the size of a baby's hand.
  15. Mini: the size of Mickey Mouse.
  16. Meager: the size of meals in communist China
  17. Scant: the size of meals in communist Russia.
  18. Compact: the size of micro-fiber towels.
  19. Tiny: the size of a newborn.
  20. Runty: the size of Piglet.
  21. Wee: the size of a two-year old child.
  22. Shrimpy: the size of the ten year old who looks like a six year old.
  23. Small: small children.
  24. Smallish: the same small children, but now demanding to be carried on your back.
  25. Slight: Size 2 jeans.
  26. Stunted: the size of sad trees that actually look like depressed shrubs creeping on the ground.
  27. Petite: the size of little black dresses.
  28. Pint-sized: Hobbit-sized.
  29. Undersized: Supermodels.
  30. Micro: the size of anything in the economy that's not macro.

~Anathema