Look out for the future, because you never know what it might bring…
Question #88743 posted on 01/11/2017 12:31 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I was driving to work this morning at a little after 7. The temperature was hovering just below the freezing mark, and the seat warmers were finally doing their job.

All of a sudden, a car turned onto the road right in front of me. I could tell that he had just started up his car, because I could see the exhaust coming out of his tailpipe. After a couple of miles, his exhaust disappeared, and it was as invisible as Aunt Maggie's smile.

Of course, I've seen this a million times, but until today I'd never questioned why it disappears. I figure it has to do with his car heating up, but it would almost seem that if the exhaust is warmer it would be even more visible. Help me out here, would you?

Sincerely,

-Exhausted Eric

A:

Dear Eric,

There are two things that can cause visible smoke when you first start up your car that disappears after a while. One is incompletely burned hydrocarbons, and the other is water.

Because a stoichiometric mixture of fuel and air (one that uses all the oxygen and all the fuel) burns too hot and can lead to knocking under high load(source), cars will often run rich, which provides more power and damages the engine less, but leaves hydrocarbons in the exhaust to be cleaned up by the catalytic converter. The catalytic converter needs to reach a high temperature to work, which is why the exhaust is more visible when the car first starts.

The other cause could be water build-up (typically from condensation, especially in cold weather), which is vaporized by the passing exhaust, then condensed into small, but visible, droplets when they exit to the cold outside air. This effect is similar to the one that makes your breath visible in cold weather.

-The Entomophagist

Question #88707 posted on 01/08/2017 12:34 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What are some of your top songs of 2016? This could be music you encountered this year, songs important for you personally this year (not necessarily from 2016), songs you most wish erased from collective memory... take it how you will, and with whatever time you need.

--Ardilla Feroz, writing in from dusty Argentina, hoping your Christmas breaks are lovely

A:

Dear Ardilla,

Because this is the 100 Hour Board (and because I love music way too much) I have decided to put together a list of my top 100 songs for 2016. These are top in the sense of favorite, least favorite, personal significance, and everything in between. Most of these songs I discovered on my own, some were happily recommended, and others I came across through the Board. Without further ado, here's the list, organized according to the specified categories:

Top Absolute Favorite Songs (It kind of wrenched my heart to narrow this down to just ten songs. Almost all 100 songs here are my favorite.)

  1. I Have Made Mistakes -- The Oh Hellos. Early on in the year, I decided that if my life had a theme song, this would be it. At the time, I felt like an abject failure in every possible sense of the word, and my life was just really hard. I was able to relate to the lyrics a lot, and it gave me comfort and hope when I hardly had any, telling me that the rain was what would make me grow.
  2. A Long Way -- Josh Garrels.
  3. Angela -- The Lumineers.
  4. Lemons -- Woodlock. There are some songs where the melody just envelops me, and I feel like I'm actually inside of the music. This is one of those songs for me.
  5. Talk -- Kodaline.
  6. Stay Alive -- José Gonzalez. This is one of the songs I was introduced to. I was having a math study group with a girl, and our study session magically transformed into sharing our favorite music with each other (t'was quite glorious). This song immediately skyrocketed to the top of my favorites.
  7. Gold on the Ceiling -- The Black Keys. This song I fortuitously discovered through a board question.
  8. Paradise -- City and Colour.
  9. Caesar -- The Oh Hellos.
  10. Willow Tree March -- The Paper Kites. Think of this song as the serious side to YOLO.
Top Songs With Personal Significance
  1. Hello My Old Heart -- The Oh Hellos. This is the very first song I ever heard by The Oh Hellos, which is now one of my favorite bands. I also absolutely love the song.
  2. O' Sister -- City and Colour. Something about this song really spoke to my frame of mind at the beginning of the year.
  3. Clair De Lune -- Debussy. There was one particular perfect Sunday Fall afternoon that was filled with poetry and mountains, and colored by this song.
  4. I Dreamed A Dream -- Les Miserables. This made the list because due to mistakenly believing I would have accompaniment, I ended up singing this a'cappella in front of my entire ward. It managed to remain one of my favorite songs to perform.
  5. West -- Sleeping At Last. When I first heard it, it perfectly expressed what I was feeling at the moment.
  6. The Lament of Eustace Scrubb -- The Oh Hellos. Yet another song that somehow made me feel better about the world.
  7. Homeward Bound -- arr. Jay Althouse. This is one of my favorite songs to sing. At the crescendos, I feel like I could be flying.
  8. Savior Redeemer Of My Soul -- Joseph Smith the Prophet. Another favorite to sing. This song helps me feel closer to Christ than pretty much any other.
  9. Tuesday -- Oskar & Julia. This song is included because the woman, Julia, was my next door neighbor growing up, and I think it's cool to actually know a professional music artist. I decided on this particular song because it just so happens that I was taken on as a probie on a Tuesday.
  10. Send My Love -- Adele. This song is the nail that grates along the blackboard of my soul. It's personal significance is that I hate it.
  11. As We Ran -- The National Parks. This is the song that made me fall in love with The National Parks. I initially really liked it, because it talks about the Grand Tetons, one of my favorite places in the world.
Top Songs I Did Not Discover Independently
  1. Cough Syrup -- Young the Giant. I have to thank Alta for showing me this one.
  2. Something to Believe In -- Young the Giant. 
  3. Tighten Up -- The Black Keys. [Editors' note: this song does not contain profanity, but the music video does include a few rude gestures. Watch at your own discretion.]
  4. Click Click Click -- Bishop Allen. Another song from that wonderful "math study group."
  5. Bad Blood -- arr. Postmodern Jukebox. I dislike this song as sung by Taylor Swift, but love this vintage version. Listening to it made me dance, and determine that I now want to have a dance party with this style music.
  6. No Room In Frame -- Death Cab For Cutie. Another song I found courtesy of the Board.
Top Songs Recommended By YouTube (To my great delight, one day I noticed that YouTube started recommending a ton of indie songs for me.)
  1. If I Be Wrong -- Wolf Larson.
  2. Trojans -- Atlas Genius.
  3. 1957 -- Milo Greene.
  4. Don't You Give Up On Me -- Milo Greene.
  5. Elation -- Isbells.
  6. Wolf -- First Aid Kit.
  7. The Last Of Us -- Woodlock.
  8. Silver -- Woodlock.
  9. American Honey Blonde -- Woodlock.
  10. Seeker Lover Keeper -- Even Though I'm a Woman. I think the lyrics are a bit strange, but I like the tune.
Top Songs From My Top Artists (Not necessarily in the order of my most favorites.)
  1. City and Colour
    1. Wasted Love.
    2. The Girl 
    3. Hello, I'm In Delaware
    4. The Golden State
    5. Grand Optimist
    6. Commentators
    7. Waiting
    8. Sleeping Sickness
  2. Of Monsters and Men
    1. Empire
    2. Human
    3. Black Water 
    4. Crystals 
    5. I of the Storm .
    6. Wolves Without Teeth
    7. Winter Sound 
  3. The National Parks
    1. Stone's Throw 
    2. Young Whenever I hear this song, I can't help but dance.
    3. Ba Ba Ra  
    4. Ghost 
  4. The Oh Hellos
    1. There Beneath 
    2. Dear Wormwood 
    3. Pale White Horse 
  5. Lord Huron
    1. Lonesome Dreams 
    2. I Will Be Back One Day 
    3. Frozen Pines 
    4. Ghost On the Shore (I'm not providing a direct link to the song because it has some minor language.)
    5. The Man Who Lives Forever
  6. The Paper Kites
    1. Bloom 
    2. St. Clarity
    3. Maker of my Time
  7. Radical Face
    1. Always Gold 
    2. Severus and Stone 
    3. Black Eyes 
    4. Ghost Towns 
  8. The Lumineers
    1. Ophelia 
    2. Cleopatra 
    3. Stubborn Love 
  9. Seafret
    1. Give Me Something 
    2. Be There 
    3. Atlantis
  10. Hozier
    1. Like Real People Do 
    2. Work Song 
    3. Cherry Wine
 Top Songs To Study To
  1. Letting Go -- Saint Raymond.
  2. Michicant -- Bon Iver.
  3. We Don't Eat -- James Vincent McMorrow.
  4. River From The Sky -- The Weepies.
  5. Desert Father -- Josh Garrels.
  6. Farther Along -- Josh Garrels.
  7. Crosses -- José Gonzalez.
  8. Cycling Trivialities --José Gonzalez. (There's no link here because the song has some language.)
  9. Running For Cover -- Ivan & Aloysha.
  10. Outlaw -- The Staves.
Top Songs Frequently Listened To
  1. Way Down We Go -- Kaleo.
  2. Foxbeard -- Run River North.
  3. Run River Run -- Run River North.
  4. Georgia -- Vance Joy.
  5. Mess Is Mine -- Vance Joy.
  6. Fire and the Flood -- Vance Joy.
  7. High Hopes -- Kodaline.
  8. Pray -- Kodaline.
  9. No Matter Where You Are -- Us The Duo. 
  10. Believe -- Mumford and Sons. There's a part of my hipster soul that cringes at liking a song that's so mainstream, but like it I do.

To all the readers who actually read all the way through these lists: you have my respect. To all the readers who actually clicked on all the links: you have my deep incredulity, and respect. 

~Anathema

P.S. There really are 100 songs here.

P.P.S. If any of you readers have music recommendations of your own that you'd be willing to share, please email me. No seriously, I'd love it so much. I'm always reachable at anathema@theboard.byu.edu.

Question #88634 posted on 04/19/2017 1:52 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,
until about a year ago I was an entirely faithful church member, on track for my mission and BYU. Then I took a step back and analyzed both the church and a religion as a whole and did not like the information that I found, and decided that religion as a whole was untrue. Afterwards I faded out from both the church and religion as a whole, never really explaining to my ward or parents exactly why I now have such a distaste for religion. Then my friend at BYU told me about this board, and I was hoping I could get a response to the line of reasoning that led me to becoming an atheist. Sorry if this is a bit long but I would like to know how the church would have dealt with my concerns had I brought them forward. Ill shorten each of my points to single sentences if possible to make this brief so as not to make a response impossible.

-Why does the church fight for a tax exempt staus when they collect a 10% tithe and financial records show the church donates less than a penny to the dollar for the money it takes in, so how does this qualify as a charitable organization? And then use its funds to construct a billion dollar megamall?

-why would joseph smith run for president?

-why would african americans not recieve the priesthood until a certain date, one would think gods church would be pure from the start.

-why did mormons cling to polygamy even after it became unecessary and the mexican american war ended, only giving it up when the federal government threatened not to give utah statehood.

-why did brigham young appear to be so bigoted against other races in numerous church speeches that he decalred as doctrine.

-if god exists and is all loving, why would he genocidally cleanse the earth with floods, create such an imperfect world, allow slavery and the crusades to occur under his name, and allow such confusion around the matter of his existence.

Thats just a few of my concerns. Any more and i fear that the 100 hour board will find it too long to respond. Anyways thanks in advance and I look forward to any responses!

A:

Dear You,

I'm not a Church leader, so I don't know if what I have to say is exactly what Church leaders would have told you had you brought these concerns to them, but I did take a history class on basically these issues (at least some of them). My professor was a bishop, and one of the leading experts on Church history in the world. Apparently these days he's in charge of the Maxwell Institute, a research institute owned by the Church. However, he was also very real about the seriousness of many of the topics, and didn't try to sugarcoat anything, so I really appreciated his take on things. Hopefully something I say can be of help, although if you would like to talk to someone with more expertise than I, shoot me an email at alta(at)theboard.byu.edu and I can get you in contact with my professor, Dr. Spencer Fluhman. In writing this answer I tried to link to as many official Church sources as possible, to give you the most official response I can, although I am admittedly not a spokesperson for the Church, and everything I say here is a conglomeration of official Church stuff, historical context, and my own opinions and conjecture.

Why Joseph Smith ran for president

To sum things up, basically it's because members of the early Church were deeply disillusioned with the United States leadership after seeing them fail the Mormons many times.

In the 1830s a large group of LDS pioneers moved to Missouri after Joseph Smith had a revelation saying Independence, Missouri, was to be the site of the new Zion. At the time Jackson County, where Independence was located, was mostly filled with rough and tumble settlers, who were disturbed by a huge group of what they saw as religious fanatics moving in. From the Saints' point of view, their own behavior made sense. They wanted to stay together because they had found a group where they fit in, and they were all able to mutually support and help each other. But the other Missourians didn't understand them and their odd behavior, and for as much as the Mormons said they weren't politically involved, they all had the same views and voted the same way, which seemed like a huge potential threat to the people who already lived there. The tension between the Saints and everyone else boiled over in a series of violent attacks on the Mormons by mobs, which you can read about here. This all culminated in Governor Lilburn W. Boggs' infamous Extermination Order in 1838, mandating that Mormons either be driven from the state of Missouri or exterminated (explicitly violating the 1st Amendment which guarantees freedom of religion). As a result virtually all the Latter Day Saints in Missouri were forced out of their homes during the winter of 1838-1839 with nowhere to go to, and Joseph Smith was unlawfully imprisoned in Liberty Jail in horrible living conditions. The Saints relocated in Illinois, where many of them died due to disease. Following the Extermination Order a mob also attacked a group of Saints living at Haun's Mill, brutally killing 17 people, including a child who was only 9 years old, and injuring many more.

In late 1839, after being released from Liberty Jail, Joseph Smith went to President Martin Van Buren to seek redress for the many illegal persecutions the Saints had suffered in Missouri. Although Van Buren initially seemed sympathetic to their cause, when Joseph Smith met with him again in early 1840, Van Buren told him, "Your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you. … If I take up for you I shall lose the vote of Missouri." This was understandably incredibly frustrating, because the Saints had just suffered years of illegal mob action, and even though the president of the United States agreed that they deserved justice, he refused to help them because it would be an unpopular move. 

So when the election of 1844 rolled around, the Latter Day Saints were looking for a candidate who wouldn't simply ignore the problems they were facing. In late 1843 Joseph Smith wrote letters to the five main presidential candidates, detailing the abuse in Missouri and asking what they would do about it as president. Only three of the candidates even responded, and they did so with very little sympathy to the persecution the Mormons faced. So, in January of 1844, Joseph Smith announced that he was running for president as an independent. He had a detailed party platform which called for things like the abolition of slavery and the expansion of United States territory if they obtained the permission of the Native Americans already living on the land. He didn't specifically address the illegal mob action against Mormons in Missouri, but he did say that the chief magistrate should have "full power to send an army to suppress mobs … [without requiring] the governor of a state to make the demand." This would prevent anything like what had happened in Missouri ever happening again.

Joseph Smith himself said,

I would not have suffered my name to have been used by my friends on anywise as President of the United States, or candidate for that office, if I and my friends could have had the privilege of enjoying our religious and civil rights as American citizens, even those rights which the Constitution guarantees unto all her citizens alike. But this as a people we have been denied from the beginning. Persecution has rolled upon our heads from time to time, from portions of the United States, like peals of thunder, because of our religion; and no portion of the Government as yet has stepped forward for our relief. And in view of these things, I feel it to be my right and privilege to obtain what influence and power I can, lawfully, in the United States, for the protection of injured innocence (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 6:210–11).

He was assassinated in June of 1844, during his candidacy for president, but before the election occurred. 

It's also important to remember that church and state weren't nearly as separated as they are now at this time in US history. That made it a lot less weird that the prophet of the LDS Church would run for president. We also have to remember that a lot of Church members believed the Second Coming was imminent, and they were honestly concerned about the state of the nation if Christ were to come at that time, because their personal experience was that the United States was full of mobsters and corrupt politicians. They saw Joseph Smith running for president as a way to not only save the Church, but help save the country, as well. Since then the Church has said that its foremost leaders can't run for public office, and is now strictly non-partisan and politically neutral

For more detail about Joseph Smith running for president, and as a source for a lot of the information here, see this article

Brigham Young being bigoted 

So first of all, Brigham Young appeared to be bigoted against other races because he was bigoted against other races. He was a product of his times, and unfortunately, his times were ones where white people were widely considered superior to everybody else simply because they were white. Nobody exists in a vacuum, and it's virtually impossible for someone to completely throw off the preconceptions and ideas that are ingrained in them by their culture, society, and personal experiences. 

I know that it's hard to accept that a true prophet of God was so visibly imperfect, because shouldn't the prophet be better than everyone else? The thing is, though, literally everyone on earth is far from perfect. It is impossible for God to pick a perfect prophet, because nobody will ever fit that bill. God could maybe force the prophet to be perfect, but that would go against our agency to make decisions for ourselves, and honestly I would be more uncomfortable with a God who forced us to be perfect by taking away our choices than with a God who allows for some trial and error. Despite his imperfections, Brigham Young had the traits the Church needed at the time in its leader to help it continue to exist, and later prophets have had the traits needed to correct some of the problems that Brigham Young brought about.

Another factor in Brigham Young's more racist proclamations is the fact that he was actively trying to make the Church seem "more American." At the time, the LDS Church was seen as not white and not American, and that led to a lot of problems for them. In response, the Church (Brigham Young included) worked very hard to become more acceptably white, something that ended up leading to some very racist policies and speeches.

Like I already mentioned, the vast majority of Americans at the time were very racist, and they were suspicious of anything that seemed to threaten their idea of what an American should look and be like. As such, they were incredibly suspicious of the LDS Church. By the time Brigham Young was prophet, it was well known that the Church practiced polygamy, and that horrified most of the general public. There were concerns about child brides and morality, but perhaps more surprisingly, there were also concerns about polygamy being practiced in the United States because it was seen as an "Oriental" practice. People were really horrified about such an un-American practice being practiced in America, and that led them to think of the LDS Church and its members as un-American and even not white, despite the fact that most of them had come from places like England and Scandinavia. At the time, being "not white" was about the worst thing that could happen to an organization in the United States, and the perception of Mormons as their own separate "Mormon race" helped propagate the idea that Mormons deserved all the persecution that came their way, and did not deserve religious freedom. This article is very well-researched and does an awesome job explaining how the Church was painted as not nearly white enough, both because of polygamy and because of their tolerant stance on other races, and how that led to a lot of problems for the Saints.

Oh, also, in case it's not clear enough already that the Church faced a lot of problems for not being "white enough," the original Republican Party platform was dedicated to eradicating the so called "twin relics of barbarism," polygamy and slavery. That's right, an entire political party was formed to not just get rid of slavery, but also to force the LDS Church to stop being so barbaric with its un-American practices of polygamy (and as another part of that, intermarrying with other races, something that was seen as almost as heinous as polygamy itself). One of the huge problems that the American public, and also the American government, had with polygamy was that it was seen as an "oriental" practice, and not something that should be practiced in white America. Because the Church wasn't about to get rid of polygamy any time soon (I'll get around to that later), they had to resort to other measures to try to make themselves seem more white and American to the public to try to decrease some of the persecution and mistreatment they regularly faced. So, that meant they started disparaging other races, becoming more racist to fit into a racist society a little better. Or, as Paul Reeves, author of Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whitenesssaid, "The irony is that they start participating in the same racial construct that was denigrating them." So part of the reason Brigham Young made so many comments that we now understand as racist is that he really did believe that, but part of the reason also could have definitely been that he was operating in a society that hated the Church because of its supposed un-Americanness.

Why African Americans couldn't hold the priesthood for so long

In the Church's inception, Joseph Smith actually had no problem with blacks being ordained to the priesthood, and even personally ordained at least one black man, Elijah Able, to the Melchizedek Priesthood. Elijah Able also was able to attend the temple and did baptisms for the dead there. And as we saw in Smith's bid for presidency, he was against slavery. In 1847 Brigham Young called a black man, Q. Walker Lewis, "one of the best Elders" of the Church in a private meeting. So in response to your point about God's church being pure from the start, it was. It was only after more than twenty years of acceptance toward African Americans that it changed its policy to exclude blacks.

In 1852 Brigham Young made the official statement that men of "black African descent" could not be ordained to the priesthood, though they could still be baptized and ordained members of the Church. (Subsequent prophets extended this ban to the temple, as well.) However, at the same time as Young revoked the right of black men to be ordained to the priesthood, he also said that they would eventually "have [all] the privilege and more” given to other members. Clearly the priesthood ban was never meant to be a permanent thing.

So, why did the Church change its stance? Why did it start excluding blacks? Well, for one thing, remember what I said about how racist America was at the time, and how the Church faced a lot of problems for not being racist enough to fit in? I think that definitely applies here. At the time, blacks were widely regarded in America as property, not people deserving of rights and respect. While there were a few outspoken abolitionists, the vast majority of Northerners were pretty apathetic with regards to slavery, as long as it wasn't happening in their state, and most of those who did oppose slavery still didn't believe that blacks should receive the same rights as whites. Meanwhile in the South, many prominent leaders were making the argument that slavery was a positive good that was actively benefiting all parties involved. It was in this climate that Charles Sumner, a Northern abolitionist senator, was caned almost to death on the House floor during a session of Congress by a representative from South Carolina, simply because Sumner had given a speech opposing slavery. The representative who caned him was met with a parade in his home town. It was also in this climate that the Supreme Court case Dred Scott v Sandford codified racism into national law with its decision that blacks had "no rights which the white man was bound to respect." Although the caning of Charles Sumner and the Dred Scott decision happened in the years following Brigham Young's statement about blacks and the priesthood, they're pretty indicative of the rising tensions about African Americans at the time, and how deeply unpopular it was to advocate for, or even openly support, black rights. That was bad news for a Church that allowed for total integration of blacks with whites, and whose leaders advocated for black rights.

Now we've got the political climate set up, enter Brigham Young. In 1850, Utah was made an official territory of the United States. This meant that although they had none of the rights of statehood, they did have the obligation to follow the Constitution and were subject to jurisdiction from Congress. This was basically the worst of both worlds for the Mormons, who had purposely relocated in what was currently Mexico in order to escape the United States (remember all their issues with the government?) However, as a territory they had none of the freedom they had hoped for as a small colony in Mexico, yet none of the rights of states. This caused them to be pretty highly motivated to try to become a state, not because they particularly loved the US, but because they wanted more autonomy. As governor of the Utah territory, Brigham Young's decision to instate the priesthood ban could well have been influenced by some political motivations to get in with the federal government and help to Utah become a state. I don't know, because obviously I'm not Brigham Young and I didn't make that decision, but from the context at the time, that could make sense.

Once the ban was in place, people, including Church leaders, came up with all sorts of rationales trying to justify it, such as adopting the popular idea of the time that black people were inferior because of the "curse of Cain," or because they were supposedly less faithful in the war in heaven. These ideas were NOT doctrine; they were weird ideas supported with scanty evidence pulled from a few misinterpreted verses of scripture. However, they gained a lot of momentum, probably because people were eager to find a reason for the ban, so they took any idea they could get and ran with it. Unfortunately, a lot of these ideas were taught as doctrine at the time by Church leaders, and that's tragic. With the benefit of hindsight we can look back and say that they definitely weren't doctrine, but in the thick of it there were a lot of people who said they were. What does that mean about those Church leaders? Well, for one thing it means they were people. People are fallible, and they try to come up with reasons and justifications for bad things, and sometimes those justifications aren't great. Church leaders were fallible, too, and they demonstrated that with some of the racist rhetoric we see from this time period. However, if it gives you any hope to know this, at the same time there were Church leaders who actively opposed the racist ideas supporting the priesthood ban and fought against them, so it wasn't a Church-wide thing, just individual fallacies. The fact that the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve never officially stated that the reason for the priesthood ban was because of the "curse of Cain" or "blacks were less faithful in the premortal life" also means that those ideas were never accepted by the Church as doctrine, and any attempt to pass them off as such was merely individual conjecture.

The problem is, once an idea catches hold it's hard to get rid of. The simple force of momentum can keep a lot of things going, and in my non-expert opinion, I think that's what happened with the priesthood ban. It was getting harder and harder to believe any of the rationales about why those of African descent couldn't hold the priesthood or go to the temple, especially in view of the sacrifices and faith of Church members of African descent across the globe, but with the weight of years of that practice behind them, it was hard to change course suddenly. Think of a yacht: you're not going to get a ship of that magnitude to turn 180 degrees all at once. An organization like the Church is like a giant yacht, where big changes don't just happen (for example, the missionary age change from a couple years ago only took place after months of meetings and pondering, and the missionary age is something that hasn't been as deeply defended as was the priesthood ban). 

Why would God allow His Church to instate a racist policy? Well, first of all let me just remind us all of what I said earlier, about how we all have agency, and even if we do dumb things with that, God isn't going to stop us. Going along with that, He's not going to force answers down someone's throat, even if that someone is a prophet. Until a prophet could escape the weight of history and the racist context/rhetoric of his own day, the ban was going to hold. Second of all, I have no idea how things with Utah territory and the Church would have panned out had the Church continued to promote full integration of blacks. It's possible that that plus polygamy would have been too much for the US government, or even just common Americans, to handle, and things with the Church could have turned out much differently than they did. This is murkier water here, because it's impossible to quantify, and I don't want to say that the individual suffering of black members of the Church can be quantified and justified in relation to the overall well-being of the Church, because we have absolutely no idea what would have happened without the priesthood ban, but this may have been a contributing factor.

For a lot of my information in this section, see here. But just to be clear, this is the section where I had to make the most inferences, and everything I said about why the Church might have instated the priesthood ban is my own personal thought, backed up by official Church sources as well as historical research. So I didn't just pull this stuff out of nowhere, and I feel that what I said is pretty well backed up, but I do want it to be clear that the Church hasn't given an official reason for the ban.

Why the Church continued to cling to polygamy for so long

First of all, from your question it seems like you have a mistaken idea of why the Church practiced polygamy in the first place. I may be reading this wrong, but your question makes it seem like you think they practiced polygamy because there was a shortage of men due to the Mexican American War, so in order to temporally take care of all the women in the Church they decided to start practicing polygamy so every woman would have a provider. That's a popular defense of polygamy that I've heard from all sorts of people, including missionaries at Temple Square, because it's an easy explanation that at least somewhat makes sense to us and is harder to attack from a moral point of view. The thing is, though, it's wrong. The Church had been practicing polygamy for a long time before the Mexican American War, and as you pointed out, they continued to practice it for a long time afterward. There might be some sort of argument in there about helping provide for women because there were fewer LDS men than women at the time (I don't know if that's true or not), but the revelation instructing Joseph Smith to practice polygamy says nothing about that. The reason the Saints practiced polygamy is that God told them to do it. It was hard, and I honestly don't know why He told them to, but from their point of view, despite how difficult it was, they were doing it for the logical reason of obeying God's commandments.

One of the most commonly accepted reasons for polygamy in the early Church (and the one we have the most evidence for) was to "raise up seed unto [the Lord]." Jacob 2:30 in the Book of Mormon uses that phrase, and it's when Jacob is actually telling off the men of the Church at that time for taking more than one wife. He says that they were justifying it because Solomon and David did it in the Bible, but he also says that God has said that polygamy absolutely shall not be practiced just because someone feels like it, or thinks it's the right thing to do. Jacob quotes the Lord and says, 

Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none; For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts. Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes. For if I will...raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things. (Jacob 2:27-30, emphases mine).

So, here we have God saying that polygamy is unacceptable, unless He specifically commands otherwise in order to raise up seed unto Him, or in more modern terms, in order to have more children born in the bounds of the Church. God does reserve the right to command polygamy, but for the reason of having more children be born in the covenant. In the early days of the Church there were incredibly few members, and although growth was relatively fast, there still weren't a ton of Mormons in the world. Polygamy did lead to the birth of a lot of children in the Church, and greatly helped its membership. Those children went on to do amazing things and help the Church and the world in a lot of ways, and if you look at a lot of members of the Church today, they come from a polygamous heritage. I personally only exist because of polygamy, so my selfish reason for being glad it happened is being grateful that I'm alive.

Another possible reason I've heard for why the early Saints practiced polygamy is because the Restoration of the Church was a restoration of ALL things (as Elder James E. Faust called it). Well, if we're going to restore everything that ever happened in any of the previous dispensations, one of the things we restored had to be polygamy, because we do have evidence of it being practiced anciently in the Church. According to those verses in Jacob, they only practiced it anciently in order to build the righteous membership of the Church, which is also why it was practiced modernly, but the thing is, if we're restoring everything, polygamy is on that list. So it had to be practiced at least briefly in this dispensation, but was later discontinued. This isn't doctrine, no Church leaders have come out and said that we practiced polygamy in the 1800s because it was practiced anciently and we had to restore everything, but it's an idea that sits well with me. You can take it or leave it, it's just an idea I heard that personally made sense.

Okay, so now that we sort of know why the early Saints practiced polygamy, lets look at why they defended it so vigorously. There are firsthand accounts of both men and women detailing just how difficult and heart-wrenching it was for them, so why would they continue to live it? Why would they defend it, and even call it a good thing? For one thing, at the start they had an incomplete understanding of sealings, because not a lot of information about temple sealings and eternal families had been revealed yet. They knew that it was necessary to be sealed to get to the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom, and that in heaven everyone was going to be one big family, meaning that everyone was going to somehow be sealed to each other. However, the practice of vicarious sealings for the dead hadn't happened yet, so if you had parents or grandparents who died without the gospel, they thought there was no hope of being sealed to them. Without being able to create a ladder of sealings going up through the generations, they thought they had to do a web of sealings, going out horizontally to everyone who lived concurrently with them rather than going up vertically to past generations. One way to do that was polygamy. So one reason they approved of polygamy was because they saw it a a way of creating an eternal family, and despite the hardship involved they thought that was worth it and necessary. (I don't have time to look up the source for this right now, but if you either email me or submit another question I can get find the source for you).

Going along with that, another reason the early Saints continued to uphold polygamy despite their own personal feelings about it is that they saw it as the most surefire way to gain eternal salvation, and their focus was the eternities, not the here and now. They thought it was necessary to deal with hardship in this life for celestial rewards in the world to come. Annie Clark Tanner was a polygamous wife in Utah, and in her autobiography A Mormon Mother she talks about how the Church, and the individuals within it, tended to emphasize the hardness of the gospel, and the strictness and condemnation of God. Polygamy, along with all its trials, fit very easily into that framework of the prevailing culture, something that might not have happened if they had emphasized the joy of the gospel, and the love and mercy of God like we do now. But because they sort of expected life to be hard and God to ask them near impossible things, they were more ready to accept polygamy. The Church also made it fairly easy for women to get divorces, to have an escape valve from the pressures of polygamous life

Finally, another thing that I've noticed in a lot of personal accounts of people who lived through polygamy is that they saw it as a way of unifying the Church and binding them together. We're called a "peculiar people," and the peculiar practice of polygamy certainly cemented that. The internal suffering and outside persecution they faced as a result really created bonds of unity in the Church, because common suffering is one way to bond with someone fast (just think of Harry, Ron, and Hermione becoming friends after being attacked by a troll). With that positive effect of polygamy in mind, along with the hope of eternal rewards and satisfaction, mixed with the idea that they were creating a huge eternal family through polygamous sealings, the Saints overall were fairly supportive of the practice, despite any personal hardship they had with it.

Due to the huge support polygamy had in the Church, and the immense faith of the early members who were willing to do anything God asked them to, polygamy had a lot of momentum and force behind it, meaning that they weren't going to give it up for almost anything. When they did stop practicing it, it had to be as a result of an official declaration from the prophet, because they were so faithful they wanted to be sure the command to stop was coming from God.

Why would God suddenly change His stance on polygamy? I don't think He did "suddenly change," He just went back to the norm. The Saints had pretty successfully raised a lot of children in the Church, so there was no longer any need to keep practicing polygamy. They had enough members that the Church could be self-sufficient and self-sustaining without having to rely on polygamy to replenish the ranks, and God has been pretty clear in the scriptural record throughout all of history that polygamy is not the norm, it's only a rare exception. The conditions necessitating that exception had come to an end, so they returned to the normal state of affairs (aka monogamy). Second of all, things were looking pretty dire for the Church's continued existence within the political climate. First there was a Supreme Court case that specifically banned the practice of polygamy for religious reasons, and then there was a succession of national laws that outlined specific punishments for polygamy, and that threatened the Church's ability to continue to function as a religious institution. Faced with the choice to either keep practicing polygamy and lose the right to even have a church, or discontinue the practice of polygamy, Wilford Woodruff turned to prayer to find out what he should do, and then issued the Official Declaration 1 of the Church, officially discontinuing polygamy. It might seem a little weird for a revelation to come about as a result of a political situation, because we think of the Church as separate from politics, but personally, I don't think it's wrong for revelation to be preceded by a sincere question, like this one was, or for that question to be motivated by the current world situation, like this one was. It simply shows that President Woodruff did not live in a bubble and was aware of the consequences of the Church's actions.

 

Look, I know that you're truly wondering and trying to find out the truth. And I know that there are some real, hard questions about the Church and about Church history, so I'm in no way blaming or condemning you for having these feelings. When I first found out from first-hand accounts about a lot of the terrible things that have happened in the Church, and the toll they took on real people, I was shocked. I realized how fallible people are, even leaders of the Church, and for a while that really shook my faith in the Church. It was hard for me, and I had to grapple with a lot of questions that we don't have answers to. However, eventually I realized that I couldn't deny what I did know and what I have felt based simply on the realization that there are still lots of things I don't know. My questions about a lot of these topics didn't change the fact that I know I've felt God's love for me. They didn't change the fact that I know I've prayed about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and had it confirmed to me. They didn't change the testimony I had of Christ's reality, and the saving power of His atonement. That doesn't mean that my questions and doubts weren't legitimate, or that yours aren't, either, just that all my other feelings were also legitimate. I still don't have all the answers, and there are still things that I don't understand. But I chose not to let those questions overshadow everything else. I decided to keep believing in the Church, despite my questions about certain things, because I feel good when I read the scriptures and pray and go to the temple. I believe that there are answers to these questions, just that we don't have them right now, and that's a part of life, so for now I'm just going to shelf those questions and wait for the day when I can talk face to face with God about all of them.

Obviously you're in charge of your own life, and you can make whatever decision you choose, but my suggestion is to not just look for the bad in the Church, but also remember the good. Why did you want to serve a mission? Why were you a faithful member? Don't ignore the bad things you've found out, but don't focus on them to the exclusion of the good things you've seen and felt. Try to find answers to your questions, and know that a lot of them really do have answers, but some of them don't have answers that we can explain right now. If you run into that problem, be patient and see if any more light or understanding comes with time. Remember that everything has a bias, and don't take all information you see at face value. Your final decision about what to do is in your hands, and your worth as a person will not diminish no matter what you choose. I'm sorry that this has been so hard for you, and I hope that something I've said here has helped answer at least a few of your questions.

-Alta

P.S. I'm so incredibly sorry for keeping this question so long over-hours. Hopefully it's still relevant to you.

Question #88551 posted on 12/27/2016 10:41 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What is the most GPA-competitive undergrad program to be accepted into at BYU?

-Hopeful Accountant

A:

Dear Hopeful Accountant,

Well, I did some research and reading around, and here's what I found.

This is the list of most competitive limited-enrollment undergraduate programs, only by number of students admitted. (source)

1. Commercial Music (19% acceptance)
2. Acting and Musical Dance Theater (tied at 20%)
3. Graphic Design (22% acceptance)
4. Vocal Performance (27% acceptance)
5. Animation (30% acceptance)

Obviously the most competitive program might not necessarily be the most GPA competitive, and all the most competitive programs were fine arts programs, so I looked at each program's average GPA of applicants who are accepted. Here's the list, with the average GPA, and approximate percent acceptance. 

1. Nursing (3.8 GPA, 45% acceptance) (source)
2. Accounting (3.75, 80% acceptance) (source)
3. Finance (3.68, 60% acceptance) (source)
4. Management (3.65, 50% acceptance) (source)

So based on what I found, I guess just be glad you're not a hopeful nurse!

Keep it real,
Sherpa Dave

Question #88482 posted on 12/31/2016 10:55 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Over all the seasons of So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With the Stars, how many finalists/ professional dancers have been Mormon or from Utah?

-AF

A:

Dear Patience,

First of all, sorry that this answer took so long. (You'll be getting an explanation from Alta as to why with your second take.) From what I could find, there's a total of 26 professionals/finalists from Utah and/or Mormon on Dancing With The Stars and So You Think You Can Dance, all of which are listed below. Interestingly enough, there's an overlap of three people who were both on DWTS and SYTYCD. Note that the empty spaces under the "Mormon" column, don't imply that the individual isn't Mormon, it's an indication that I don't know (I could have researched all of them, but decided not to in the interest of time, and actually getting the answer to you).

Name     Utahn Mormon DWTS Pro Star #of Seasons  SYTYCD  Season#
Julienne Hough   X X X X   5      
Derek Hough   X X X X   12      
Lacey Schwimmer     X X X   6      
Ashley Del Grosso-Costa X X X X   4      
Marie Osmond   X X X   X 1      
Donny Osmond   X X X   X 1      
Chelsea Hightower   X X X X   7   X 4
Lindsey Arnold   X X X X   4   X 9
Tanisha Belnap   X             X 11
Brittany Cherry   X             X 10
Craig DeRosa   X             X 1
Ashleigh Di Lello   X             X 6
Ryan Di Lello   X             X 6
Randi Evans   X             X 5
Brooklyn Fullmer   X             X 11
Tadd Gadduang   X             X 8
Mollee Gray   X             X 6
Allison Holker   X             X 2
Thayne Jasperson   X             X 4
Jenna Johnson   X             X 10
Sabra Johnson   X             X 3
Gev Manoukian   X             X 4
Malece Miller   X             X 10
Jaymz Tuailiva   X             X 2
Witney Carson   X X X X   6   X 9
Marcquet Hill   X             X 10

  ~Anathema

P.S. Thanks to the Goose Girl, who provided a lot of helpful links.

posted on 01/01/2017 8:06 p.m.
One more for you: Andrea Hale is from Utah (can't remember if she's Mormon or not, but I lean towards yes). She was on one season of DWTS, the pro partnered with Kenny Maynes. (They got kicked off the first week, so not very memorable, and it was her only season, so I can see why she might have gotten left out of the links you researched.) I mostly know this because, at the time, she was my brother's ballroom dance teacher at the same studio that Ashly Del Grosso-Costa was from (her mom owns it). He was pretty bummed she didn't make it very far.

~Former DWTS Fan
posted on 01/03/2017 1:52 p.m.
Benji Schwimmer was (is?) also a Mormon. He won the second season of SYTYCD!

Fun fact: Thayne Jasperson was the original Samuel Seabury in Hamilton - you can hear him singing in "Farmer Refuted."

I believe Matt Dorame of season 4 was dancing with Odyssey Dance Theatre (out of SLC) when he was cast for SYTYCD.
posted on 01/03/2017 1:52 p.m.
One more: Heidi Groskreutz is also Mormon - from season 2.
posted on 01/03/2017 3:04 p.m.
Ashley and Ryan Di Lello are Mormon as well!

--Inga
Question #88469 posted on 12/27/2016 1:17 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Who is the most quoted church leader who isn't a prophet? So Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, or C.S. Lewis don't count.

-Scarely a Scholar

A:

Dear Scholarly,

To answer your question, I went through and counted how many times likely candidates were referenced in church publications listed on lds.org. According to this research, Bruce R. McConkie would be the most referenced church leader, with 426 results. Other oft referenced leaders were Neal A. Maxwell at 378, and James E. Talmage at 215. 

However, broadening the search from church publications, it seems as though the most quoted church leader is Jeffrey R. Holland. (Note that my methods for determining this piece of information were very inexact.) This is based on the fact that a cursory google search for quotes by Elder Holland yielded over 2 million results (as a point for comparison, Bruce R. McConkie had less than 200,000 results). Using the same method, the next closest church leader in terms of google results would be James E. Faust, who also had over 2 million results, but a couple hundred less than Jeffrey R. Holland.

~Anathema

Question #88460 posted on 01/06/2017 5:40 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How much profit does BYU Vending make a year? Speficially I'm wondering how much they make on water bottles sold a year, and/or how many water bottles they sell a year.

-Jimmy G

A:

Dear James,

As a regular customer of BYU Vending, I was very interested in this question when it first popped up. Unfortunately, that interest did not prevent me from letting this question go very, very overdue.

However, I eventually did get off of my lazy bum and give BYU Vending a call. After being placed on hold for a few minutes, I was informed that BYU Vending does not share information about their profits, which is kind of what I figured might happen. When I logged on to write up my response, I realized that I'd forgotten that you also asked about how many water bottles they sell a year. That seemed like more obtainable information, so I gave them a call back. Oddly, even though only a couple of minutes had passed, no one answered.

I was going to leave it at that, but, overcome by a combination of Board pride mixed with overdue shame, I decided to make one more call. They picked up this time, and after a couple more minutes were able to give me some info on water bottle sales.

BYU Vending sells three types of water bottles: regular Dasani, Raspberry Dasani, and Smart Water. The Vending module in the BYU app tells me that both Dasani products are priced at $1.20 per bottle, whereas Smart Water is $1.75. Now, the representative said they only had information on regular Dasani water: they sell about 20,000 bottles every four months (or every semester, if you will). We won't let that stop us, though: if nothing else, reading What If? has taught me there can be value in rough extrapolation.

First: does Smart Water sell better or worse than regular Dasani? Off the top of my head, I'd say better, since I feel like I see a lot more peole carrying Smart Water bottles than Dasani bottles (if I weren't on break I'd do some rough surveys of the snack zone in the library). However, I was also really surprised that Dasani sold so much in a single semester, so to play it safe, I'll say that they sell just as much Smart Water as Dasani on campus, so we'll add another 20,000 bottles per semester to the total (the good thing about these estimations is that, if you don't agree with my reasoning, you can substitute your own numbers for mine). On the other hand, I definitely don't think that I see as many Raspberry Dasani bottles on campus; I might see two or three other bottles before I see one Raspberry. Since I'm trying to keep my estimates conservative, I'll say that Raspberry Dasani sells half as much as either Smart Water or Dasani, so we'll chip in another 10,000 bottles, bringing our per-semester total to 50,000. With three semesters in the calendar year, we have a grand total of 150,000 water bottles sold on BYU campus in a single year (one could argue that there is more demand during the spring-summer semester, but there are also fewer students on campus, so I think it evens out).

That takes care of approximately how many water bottles are sold in a year, but what about the profit? According to this website (which, I grant, is not incredibly academic, but nonetheless represents the best data I could find), for ever bottle of water sold at $1.45, $0.67 goes to the retailer (in this case, BYU). This is almost certainly an average, based on data from several different bottling companies, but we'll roll with it for our purposes, especially since (spoiler alert) Smart Water and Dasani are both owned by The Coca-Cola company (as are all BYU beverages; notice there is no caffeine-free Pepsi or Mountain Dew sold on campus).

None of the waters we are considering are sold for $1.45, so we'll use percentages. We have that $0.67 is 46% of $1.45; then 46% of $1.20 is $0.55, and 46% of $1.75 is $0.81. We conjectured that every semester BYU was selling 30,000 bottles of water at $1.20 and 20,000 at $1.75; that gives $16,172.41 in profit for Smart Water and $16,634.48 in profit for the two Dasani products, combined. That gives around $32,806.89 in total water bottle profit per semester, and a grand total of $98,420.67 for the whole year.

Those are my estimates. If any reader thinks that I've done part of this process wrong, feel free to let me know via correction below.

-Frère Rubik

Question #88367 posted on 12/05/2016 7:06 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What exactly makes a hug an "amazing" hug? A friend of mine told me a few years ago that I give amazing hugs, and another friend within earshot agreed with her when she said it, but I never really found out what was meant by that. As a rather withdrawn and not very tactile person, I don't think I've ever really thought anything about hugging other than "avoid awkward side hugs."

Help me rectify my ignorance, board writers. Is there more to the dynamics of hugging that I don't understand? Do I unwittingly possess some mysterious gift? Or is this compliment as mystifying to you as it is to me?

- quiet belladonna

A:

Dear Quiet Madonna,

I too am often told that I give good hugs, and I've never known why. So, I decided to analyze different kinds of hugs to see if I could figure out what the common factor(s) in good hugs is. I apologize in advance for how dark the pictures are. Apparently my apartment is a black hole.

Exhibit A: The half couch/half standing hug.

unnamed (6).jpg

Rating: 3/10

Exhibit B: The crossed-arms hug.

 Crossed arms.jpg

Rating: 8/10.

Exhibit C: The butt-out hug. This one usually isn't quite as dramatic as this, but we had to exaggerate the space between us for the sake of the photo.

unnamed (1).jpg

Rating: 3/10. 

Exhibit D: The side hug.

unnamed (2).jpg

Rating: 4/10.

Exhibit E: The upside down hug.

unnamed (5).jpg

Rating: 7/10. (I probably would have given it a lower rating if I were the one who had to do a headstand, though).

Exhibit F: The hand hug.

unnamed (9).jpg

Rating: 1/10.

Exhibit G: The third wheel hug.

unnamed (7).jpg

Rating: 4/10.

Exhibit H: Girls-arms-under hug.

 Arms under.jpg

Rating: 10/10.

Exhibit I: The girls-arms-over hug.

 Arms over.jpg

Rating: 10/10.

The results: The more body contact the better. The weird hugs were the ones where we made an effort to make sure our bodies didn't touch each other. People who give hugs but sort of lean away while doing it, or seem reserved in their hugging, aren't as comforting to hug as people who lean in. The tightness of the hug also matters, because limp arms are bad, stiff and robotic arms are bad, and squeezing way too tight is bad. The best is when the hug is tight, but not suffocatingly so. And finally, people can sense when someone they're hugging cares about them or not, so actually caring about the people you hug is good.

-Alta

Question #88340 posted on 11/22/2016 5:54 p.m.
Q:

Dear Doctor,

Of the main clothing stores (you can limit yourself to ten. Or you can do more and make me happier), what is the typical price range (with or without sales/clearance) and what kind of clothes do they normally sell?

-Tally M., clearly using her Board connection for evil.

A:

Dear Tally,

Full disclaimer: here you will find a list of 7 stores (plus Zed's). I had originally planned to do more, but the end of the semester is approaching and I don't want to hold the question over hours more than I already have.

I suppose it's up to interpretation what the "main" clothing stores are, so these are stores that I would consider "main" within the public consciousness, based on my own experience. I also did some rudimentary Googling about the top clothing stores, and tried to correlate my list with those the internet deemed the most popular.

A quick disclaimer about following data: I do not claim this to be scientific or 100% accurate. You might bring this list shopping then be horribly disappointed if everything is more expensive than you anticipated. 

Next, a few notes about method. For each category of clothing, I tried to use a minimum of five data points. Whenever possible, I tried to include a variety of different brands within that set of data. Certain stores like Old Navy had very few different brands, and fewer options than department stores like Macy's, so I lowered their minimum to three data points. I tried to include brands with different price points, so I didn't collect all my data from the Ralph Lauren collection and ignore the less-prestigious options.

I also tried to include a variety of styles within each clothing category. I figured it would be overwhelming for everyone involved (but especially me) if I included too many categories, like differentiating Men's Polos and Men's T-shirts. So instead of doing so, I lumped everything into Men's Shirts. Within this category, I included a variety of styles, including t-shirts, flannel, polos, and sports shirts. At each store I tried to include one shirt from at least those four categories. The same goes for Women's Tops--I tried to include a mix of casual shirts and more dressy blouses.

Likewise, I felt the need to distinguish between sweaters and coats. The coats category includes only heavier winter coats, where the sweaters category encompasses everything from light cardigans to pullover sweaters to hoodies. 

Sears:

Men's Shirts: $18-44, average $34

Men's Jeans: $36-70, average $50

Men's Coats: $30-120, average $94

Men's Sweaters: $20-60, average $42

Men's Slacks: $40-60, average $53

Men's Dress Shirts: $ 38-45, average $41

Women's Tops: $ 30-60, average $43

Women's Jeans: $35-40, average $38

Women's Coats: $50-140, average $90

Women's Sweaters: $15-42, average $37

Women's Skirts: $32-48, average $40

Women's Dresses: $60-100 average $84


JCPenney:

Men's Shirts: $38-55, average $46

Men's Jeans: $44-70, average $58

Men's Coats: $60-200, average $124

Men's Sweaters: $42-80, average $62

Men's Slacks: $70-120, average $85

Men's Dress Shirts: $36-50, average $44

Women's Tops: $30-48, average $36

Women's Jeans: $36-55, average $46

Women's Coats: $60-200, average $126

Women's Sweaters: $22-48, average $35

Women's Skirts: $36-52, average $43

Women's Dresses: $60-86, average $72

 

Dillard's:

Men's Shirts: $50-145, average $81

Men's Jeans: $40-99, average $81

Men's Coats: $89-200, average $137

Men's Sweaters: $50-75, average $65

Men's Slacks: $50-150, average $83

Men's Dress Shirts: $45-90, average $64

Women's Tops: $26-90, average $59

Women's Jeans: $58-136, average $96

Women's Coats: $109-199, average $153

Women's Sweaters: $79-159, average $109

Women's Skirts: $44-109, average $74

Women's Dresses: $69-189, average $126

 

Macy's:

Men's Shirts: $24-80, average $53

Men's Jeans: $50-70, average $62

Men's Coats: $75-220, average $144

Men's Sweaters: $30-99, average $80

Men's Slacks: $40-85, average $77

Men's Dress Shirts: $53-90, average $72

Women's Tops: $11-80, average $44

Women's Jeans: $49-90, average $67

Women's Coats: $59-400, average $189

Women's Sweaters: $44-100, average $61

Women's Skirts: $30-79, average $57

Women's Dresses: $59-144, average $101

 

H&M:

Men's Shirts: $6-30, average $18

Men's Jeans: $30-40, average $36

Men's Coats: $35-129, average $69

Men's Sweaters: $20-30, average $26

Men's Slacks: $35-50, average $40

Men's Dress Shirts: $15-30, average $23

Women's Tops: $10-30, average $22

Women's Jeans: $18-50, average $35

Women's Coats: $40-70, average $58

Women's Sweaters: $20-50, average $32

Women's Skirts: $25-50, average $38

Women's Dresses: $13-50, average $33

 

Forever XXI:

Men's Shirts: $13-25, average $18

Men's Jeans: $25-30, average $28

Men's Coats: $35-50, average $42

Men's Sweaters: $16-53, average $27

Women's Tops: $9-20, average $13

Women's Jeans: $18-30, average $26

Women's Coats: $16-60, average $44

Women's Sweaters: $16-33, average $25

Women's Skirts: $6-28, average $18

Women's Dresses: $13-33, average $21

 

Old Navy:

Men's Shirts: $13-35, average $26

Men's Jeans: $30-35, average $33

Men's Coats: $50-100, average $73

Men's Sweaters: $35-55, average $44

Men's Slacks: $30 average $30

Women's Tops: $15-30, average $21

Women's Jeans: $30-50, average $35

Women's Coats: $50-80, average $66

Women's Sweaters: $25-35, average $31

Women's Skirts: $20-30 average $25

Women's Dresses: $33-40 average $36

Shop away!

Love,

Luciana

Question #88339 posted on 03/28/2017 1:08 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

My husband and I regularly go to different temples in Utah. In Oquirrh, you can do temple name baptisms while endowed, but in Draper you can't. Which temples in Utah are in which category?

-Lady Hermione

A:

Dear person,

I called all of the temples and this is what they said:

Bountiful: "I don't know, you should be able to, as far as I know you can."

Brigham City: Bring your own names.

Cedar City: Not yet open.

Draper: Bring your own names.

Jordan River: Being renovated.

Logan: You can do temple names.

Manti: Bring your own names.

Mount Timpanogos: Bring your own names.

Monticello: You can do temple names. Four, to be precise.

Ogden: I don't know if you can do actual temple names but there is apparently a place where people will drop off names for other people to do baptisms, so you should be able to do names that are not yours.

Oquirrh Mountain: You can do temple names.

Payson: You can do temple names.

Provo: You can do temple names.

Provo City Center: Bring your own names.

Salt Lake: Bring your own names.

St. George: You can do temple names.

Vernal: You can do temple names.

All mistakes in this answer are due to nice old ladies making innocent and pure-intentioned errors, so don't hate if some piece of information here turns out to be untrue.

-Sheebs

Question #88328 posted on 11/04/2016 12:02 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I was reminded earlier today of when I was a child. My Scripture case has a Velcro opening, so at church I would pull it apart slowly to minimize the noise it made.

So now I ask you: taking into account the noise over the entire course of ripping Velcro apart, does one way make less noise?

- Zwerg zwei

A:

Dear you,

I took some measurements, and it appears that overall, opening Velcro quickly is louder than opening Velcro slowly.

For this experiment, I used a laptop webcam and some recording software. It would have been better to use calibrated research-grade microphones in an anechoic chamber, but that seemed like overkill, so I made do with what I had at home. First, I recorded Velcro being opened quickly 10 times over 24 seconds. Next, I recorded Velcro being opened slowly 10 times over 24 seconds. I then calculated an overall sound pressure level for each one, and the quick Velcro was 0.6 dB louder than the slow Velcro. Now, this is probably too small to be statistically significant. However, by looking at the background noise in the recordings, it appears that the webcam mic's gain may have increased slightly for the slow Velcro. By bringing those levels down so that they matched the fast Velcro recording, the quick Velcro was 2.6 dB louder than the slow Velcro, which is large enough to be significant.

Regardless, I think we can all agree that including Velcro in a scripture case is a poor design decision, considering that they're often to be used in churches.

-Kirito

Question #88295 posted on 11/06/2016 8:42 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Can somebody please explain this to me? A guy in my ward is so excited but I just don't understand.

https://universalmodel.com

-My Name Here

A:

Dear MNH,

If you wanted to be told why you should also be excited about this, you came to the wrong place. But if you wanted people who know a thing or two about science to tell you why you shouldn't believe a word of it, then you very much came to the right place.

Frère Rubik told me that he was going to address (and debunk) at least one of the theories presented, and I would have liked to have done the same thing, but I couldn't find a way to read the actual arguments without paying $79 for the whole book. Therefore, I will explain all the reasons why I could never pay any money for it. Please keep in mind that I understand that ad hominem arguments are invalid and unethical, and that anything I say about the author of the book will be in reference to his qualifications, not his character. I'm sure he's a great guy.

Let's start with all the things that cause suspicion just in the main website. As a general rule, you should be wary of excessive unnecessary capitalization, like Nature, Scientific Revolution, and New Millennial Science. Incorrect grammar doesn't prove anything wrong per se, but there is definitely a correlation between trying to emphasize certain words in this way and making things up. Additionally, they "invite all to explore and experience the adventure of learning truth" but charge as much as the Digital Deluxe edition of Sid Meier's Civilization VI for it, which seems a bit disingenuous, and the numbers about a third of the way down the page are way too round to seem real.

Moving on the the Q&A page, we start to see some explanation for why these "discoveries" are coming through some random book rather than a peer-reviewed journal. They try to spin it to make the scientists look close-minded, but the basic idea is that they are unable to convince anyone who knows anything relevant, but they are confident they can convince normal people that it's true. They claim to do this based on empirical evidence, but unless one of them has actually drilled down to the earth's core and found ice or lived long enough to have witnessed the flood, I'm pretty sure they don't have any better evidence than the "scientific establishment" does.

Since we're talking about the "scientific establishment," let's discuss the basic tenet of the Universal Model that we're living in a scientific dark age and that truth cannot come through the existing channels of scientific discovery. Let me tell you a secret: scientists are always trying to disprove the null hypothesis. That means that it is a scientist's job to challenge commonly held ideas, because that's the only way you learn anything new. You don't become famous for providing even more evidence that someone else was right; you become famous by proving them wrong and providing an alternate hypothesis to replace the old idea. The scientific community has no incentive to stifle new ideas, but they do have an incentive to avoid embarrassment by ensuring that newly published hypotheses and theories are sound. In other words, if the author of the Universal Model has been unable to convince any reputable research publications to distribute his findings, it's because he has been unable to adequately show that the existing theories are false, not because there's some widespread conspiracy to keep the world from learning the truth. 

Finally, let's talk about the author's qualifications. According to LinkedIn, he graduated from BYU with a B.S. in organizational psychology. That would be fine if he were a well-known technical writer and had been asked to oversee the compilation of this textbook using contributions from experts in the field, but that's not the case. As far as can be determined from the website, he is the sole author of the book, and it was all his idea. There is not a single reference to contributing authors in the Table of Contents or in the first page of any of the chapters, which is where you typically find that sort of thing. The website says that he talked to lots of experts and researchers, none of them are getting any credit as far as I can tell. This is supposed to be written at a college level, but the author could have (and probably did) graduate with his most advanced degree without taking more than an introductory class (if that) in any of the topics discussed. It also says that most of the scientific community was "unaware and unconcerned with the evidences presented;" they claim that this is a result of the paradigm shift being to great for them to contemplate, but if I were to borrow Dr. Occam's razor, I would say that they thought it was ridiculous because it didn't adequately explain everything that has been observed about the world and the universe. Of all the reviews listed on the website, there's a suspicious absence of experts in the relevant sciences. Sure, there are a few people with advanced degrees, but they're in law, medicine, philosophy, and engineering, not science, and certainly not geology or geophysics, which is what most of the UM appears to be about.

Trust me, if there was any evidence for these claims, someone would have gotten a Nobel Prize.

-The Entomophagist

A:

Dear Magnetized and Nuanced Hydrosphere,

Here is my conclusion: The Universal Model is a textbook written by a man of faith in an attempt to reconcile contradictory arguments between science and religion. However well-intentioned he may have bee in writing it, I do not agree with his method of trying to accomplish this goal, and I find several of his assertions to be complete and utter bunk.

Having said all of that, I must admit that, like Ento, I haven't actually read the full text. I am drawing conclusions based on the one-page chapter introductions that are posted on the website, and I am inferring things here and there. I have tried to keep these inferences grounded and not speculative, but I do acknowledge the possibility for gross error.

Now that the disclaiming is done, let me talk to you about Mars. While I am by no means an expert, I did just spend an entire year reading about Mars so as to be better prepared for URC, so I know a few things about how things work over yonder. 

Here's a widely-documented Mars Fact: Mars' atmosphere is far less dense than ours. In fact, to be specific, it is 0.6% as dense as Earth's, but evidence suggests that it used to be just as dense. What happened? Solar wind happened.

Quick physics lesson: when things that have been electrically charged move around, they create magnetic fields. If you had a bunch of ice-skaters charge up (say, by touching a Van De Graaff generator for a few seconds) and then skate around a skating rink in the same direction without touching each other or otherwise charging, you would make a very small and very irregular magnetic field. 

With solar wind, you have tons of charged particles being blasted from the sun at incredibly high speeds, which then create magnetic fields. When these magnetic fields interact with atmosphere, they, in turn, create electric fields, and these electric fields cause particles to shoot out of the atmosphere, stripping it away. This is what happened to Mars; over time, the hundreds of thousands of solar wind particles bounced other particles out of the atmosphere until it became as thin as it is today.

So, if this is going on with Mars, why isn't the same thing happening to Earth? The answer is because Earth's magnetic field is strong enough to repel most of the solar wind; the wind still chips away Earth's atmosphere a little, but not nearly enough to cause a noticeable difference. Mars is atmosphere-deprived because its magnetic field is very, very weak.

Now, what determines how strong a planet's magnetic field is? Well, remember that ice-skating analogy I used? That's basically what's going on inside of the earth: the mantle and outer core are filled with charged metallic ions, and as these ions swirl around they create the earth's magnetic field (which is much stronger than the ice-skating field because there are billions of "skaters" here and they're all moving really fast). Now, we don't know a ton about what's going on inside of Mars, but we do know that whatever's happening, it isn't strong enough to create the magnetic field required to deflect the solar wind. We theorize that its core is much colder, which slows down the magnetic-field-creating process and weakens the field overall.

(I feel like I do this every time I write a science answer, but I should put in one last disclaimer: while I have spent a lot of time researching this kind of stuff, I can't claim to have understood it perfectly, so what I've described above is at best an oversimplification and at worst inherently wrong in some aspects.)

I bring all of this up because the Universal Model argues that the earth isn't filled with magma at all; it's filled with water instead (again, I haven't read it, but these pages certainly seem to point in that direction). 

This idea frustrates me to no end.

First, if there isn't magma in the Earth's core, then what is causing the magnetic field? And, no, it's not that all of the ions are floating around in the water and still creating the field, because if we want our core to be mostly water then there won't be nearly enough metals inside to make a strong enough magnetic field to stop the solar wind. And, no, I don't think that there's some other mysterious force at work that's causing the magnetic field that we haven't discovered yet, because we actually understand the field of electromagnetism fairly well and use it to make all sorts of nifty things like MRI machines and cell phones and other technology. It's pretty clear that there have to be a lot of little charged particles moving around inside the Earth to create such a strong field, and as far as I can tell UM doesn't offer an alternate explanation of what's going on.

Second, I'm frustrated by what I perceive as the author's motivations for writing such a textbook. It's the inclusion of chapter 8, "The Universal Flood Model," that's really prompting this reaction. One of the biggest arguments against the Biblical Flood of Noah is that there is simply not enough water on or in Earth to literally cover the entire surface in water. The highest point on earth is Mount Everest, which peaks at an elevation of 8,848 meters above sea level. If we wanted to put it underwater, that would require an additional 2.9x1012 cubic meters of water, or 2.9x1015 liters (actually less than that because mountains and houses and other things take up space and you don't have to fill that space with water but estimating that amount is a question for Randall Munroe, not me). That's more than twice the amount of water that the USGS estimates is currently in the Earth's "system" (on the surface, in the ground, in the air). Simply put, that is a lot of water, and we have no real way of accounting for where all of that water came from or where it went after the flood.

With this disparity in mind, most scientists assume that the flood never happened and leave it at that. The author of the Universal Model, though, doesn't seem to agree, and so it seems that they've created an entire scientific textbook that rewrites geology and several other disciplines of science in order to allow for the existence of a flood. They make room for other "Pseudotheories," as UM calls them (like climate change and evolution), but their main thrust seems to be the Great Flood.

Problems I have with this:

1) Starting a debate with the position "Actually your argument is fundamentally flawed but I have the true knowledge of how it's supposed to work so let me just explain to you everything you've messed up" does not tend to lead to a healthy, productive conversation.

2) It assumes that everything in this life, be it science or religion or whatever, has to be explained through rational and scientific means. I don't buy that. This is related to a big theme of Dr. Mackay's classes, in that we need to take back our miracles. There's a rant about that for another day, but put simply: I do not think that we should require that all of God's miracles be proved to us using our own knowledge and understanding. I think that leaving them as just miraculous events can help us maintain faith and be more spiritually resilient moving forward.

---

So there's all of that, a rant by an undergraduate Physics student. Part of me wonders if it's even my place to make such arguments.

-Frère Rubik

posted on 11/06/2016 5:13 p.m.
From a lady in a relevant field:

The writers above have it right. The guy was so intent on proving one thing, he rewrote all the knowledge on the books to get it to work. This is fine, that's how discoveries work sometimes (see: plate tectonics, the discovery of no ether in space, microbes etc). HOWEVER; those discoveries usually bring existing data together and are based on empirical evidence. They help explain more stuff than they set out to.

This does not. For example, when digging into the ground, temperatures rise sharply, and lots of geology rests upon things melting at depth. How does that data fit with an icy core? Additionally, he describes the mantle as rock/water, but were that so, it would most DEFINITELY be visible in seismic data, strikingly so. Waves move and react differently with different mediums and interfaces between them, and so many changes between liquid and solid, even just a high saturation, would be readily apparent (see: discovery of the inner structure of the Earth). I'm also not sure how the "Crystallization Process" indicates that "rocks are made out of water, Celestial Water [???] and the abundance of water in the Universe and other planets [sic]". Because while some minerals do contain amounts of water (we've studied their chemistry extensively), you would not describe rocks as being made out of water. And the crystallization process mostly indicates that [igneous] rocks are made out of fractionally crystallized components of magma that precipitate in order of their cooling temperatures. I'm not also not sure how a rock would be made out of an abundance of water elsewhere in the universe, either.

Also, what the actual cuss is celestial water??

Ok, that was one page of that website discussed by a geologist. I have to go lie down now as I'm suddenly ill and have lost 10 IQ points, but if you'd like me to suffer through/analyze any more, post on the BCB.

Ouch,
Molybdenum
posted on 11/17/2016 4:13 p.m.
Thank you very much for your curiosity in the Universal Model. Because there is little space permitted to respond, here is a link to another spot on the BYU Board that will help clear some of the misunderstandings that came up on this thread.

http://boardcommentboard.lefora.com/topic/82/master/1/#.WC4twfkrJaQ
Question #88264 posted on 10/24/2016 4 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

For the past couple of weeks, I've played a little game with myself while singing hymns in church. I tried to guess what the second rhyming word in a rhyming pair would be. I've found that "word" and "Lord" are very common as a rhyming pair. So my first question is this: what are the top five most used rhyming pairs in the hymn book? I'm predicting that word-Lord cracks the top five.

A second, related question. What rhyming pair struck you as the most clever or interesting as you conducted this research?

Thanks--you guys are the best!

-Singer of Hymns

A:

Dear Singer,

I took up this challenge with much more optimism than I had at the end. There are a lot of hymns. Nevertheless, I persisted with the following caveats:

Other than the one specified in your question, I included only actual rhymes. So Word-Lord made the cut because of your qualification, but other "rhyming pairs" like Remove-Love and Good-Food were excluded.

Secondly, I only counted a particular rhyme once per song. So even if a certain rhyme was in a song's chorus, I still only counted it as one manifestation.

Last, I only counted each hymn once, even if there were separate arrangements later in the hymnbook.

Results:

  1. Love-Above: 53
  2. Lord-Word: 27
  3. Way-Day: 22
  4. Sing-King: 20
  5. Light-night: 16

If we eliminate Lord-Word because it's not an actual rhyme, that makes way for Praise-Raise, with 15 counted instances.

Actually, I found very few of the rhymes to be particularly clever. I suppose I was most impressed that Unfurled-World came up seven different times.

I won't profess that these counts are exact, as perusing 300+ hymns takes a long time, so I'm sure I made mistakes here and there. But as near as I can tell, those are the top 5.

Love,

Luciana

Question #88235 posted on 10/21/2016 5:42 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,
I am trying to figure out something and it just doesn't make sense to me. Lately, African Americans have been asking to be better represented and not be so marginalized in the media. One example of this is having more movies with black actors, or on TV shows. I think this is great, however, why is there so much demand to to help African Americans and recognize them, while there is very little to do the same for Latino Americans? Latinos make up 16% of the US population, which shows they deserve just as much representation as African Americans (who make up 12% of the population). But I haven't seen any protests in the medias, or on the internet that there need to be more roles for Hispanic Actors, or there should be more characters that are Hispanic or Latino. Please don't misunderstand me, I in no way am talking about the Black Lives Matter movement or anything about our justice system, this is purely about the entertainment industry. Why isn't there more push in the media to change things for Latino Americans as well as African Americans? Is there anything I can do to raise awareness or help? I know I can't change the world, but I really want to help if I can.

-El hispano más sano

A:

Dear person,

This is America's very basic race/ethnicity breakdown, as of the 2010 census: 

Capture 3.PNG

(source)

I want to divide "representation" into 2 camps: racial discrimination, and Hollywood whitewashing.

Racial Discrimination

I know you were not asking about the Black Lives Matter movement, but I feel that this topic cannot truly be discussed without the addition of BLM.

While the Latino population faces a high level of police discrimination, it still pales in comparison to the issues of violence against blacks in America.  From PBS Newshour

Among minorities, the rate of police killings for Latinos is second to those of African-Americans. As of today, an estimated 94 Latinos have been killed by police in 2016 alone, making up 16 percent of the 585 police-involved killings this year.  In contrast, people who are black or African-American are only 13.3 percent of the U.S. population, but 144 black Americans have been killed by police in 2016. At 25 percent, those deaths represent a disproportionate number of officer-involved fatalities compared to the population.

There is a movement called Latino Lives Matter, but they do not get as much media coverage as the Black Lives Matter movement.  Many Latinos have spoken out in favor of the Black Lives Matter movement.  Essentially, "Black" is being used to denote all minorities within the movement and their struggles against systematic oppression.  It helps that "of the 57 million Hispanics living in the United States, about a quarter [or about 15 million people] identify as Afro-Latino [mixed race Latino and African descent]" (source), and therefore feel that they can relate to the oppression that many blacks are undergoing at this moment.

Hollywood whitewashing

When talking about Hollywood whitewashing, take a look at this graph below: 

Capture 2.PNG

Hispanics are actually the only group within Hollywood whose representation is not representative of America as a whole; the ratio of blacks in film to blacks in America are about equal, as are Asians and "others" (Native American, Pacific islanders, mixed races, etc).  However, less than 5% of all major Hollywood actors are Hispanic, and this leads to what is called "Hollywood white-washing."

Many directors want the most noteworthy actors in their movies in order to get the most recognition for profits and awards.  It's how you end up with Andrew Garfield playing a Brazilian-born tech mogul in The Social Network, and Natalie Wood playing Maria (and totally botching a Puerto Rican accent) in West Side Story. If you want to learn more about white-washing across all races, check out "Hollywood Whitewashing: How is This Still a Thing?" from Last Week Tonight.

One theory about why they do not receive as much coverage is that there are simply more pressing issues in the Latino sphere to worry about.  Donald Trump's campaign, increasingly restrictive immigration laws, and the fact that Mexicans make up over half of all estimated illegal immigrants are all incredibly important problems within their community right now.  This is probably one big reason there is less push for more Latinos to represent the ethnic group within Hollywood.  I'm not saying that they cannot work on two issues at once, but when nearly 10% of a large group are under danger of being found, reported, and deported because they have outstayed a visa, it is understandable that some people would be scared of "rocking the boat" too much.  I do believe that pushing the Black Lives Matter agenda further into acceptance within the public eye will help all factors of under-representation for all minority races within our country.  

Or hey, it could all be a plot created by Salma Hayek in order for her to get the most award-winning rolls in Hollywood.  Which sounds more reasonable to you?

-April Ludgate

Question #88215 posted on 10/30/2016 7:42 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How many questions have been submitted each year to The Board?

-Including this question

A:

Dear One Q More,

Here's the full list. I found these according to the date they were posted, not the date they were asked. For the questions that are from the year NULL, I believe that means it was an archived question that was posted later. That's also why there are so few questions for the first few years. 

Year Num of Questions
NULL 4412
1998 48
1999 101
2000 32
2001 212
2002 960
2003 2823
2004 9170

2005

8808
2006 7509
2007 8910
2008 7152
2009 5289
2010 5632
2011 4539
2012 4199
2013 5178
2014 4548
2015 4439
2016 3164

-Spectre

Question #87920 posted on 09/22/2016 8:36 a.m.
Q:

Dear Auto Surf,

What were the reasons you spend a week in a psych ward this Summer? If it sounds like I'm judging, I'm not. I'm actually asking because man it feels good to hear I'm not alone in my mental health struggles.
Also, if you don't mind sharing, what was it like and did you find it helpful?

-Q

A:

Dear ueue,

Thanks for asking! I was actually hoping someone would ask. Mental health is a hugely important but underrated and under-exposed part of society; I'm trying to do what little I can to change that by being more open about my experience, so thanks for starting the conversation. 

How I Got There

In short, I went to the psych ward because I was massively depressed and suicidal, to the point of not feeling safe with myself. I also knew that I was in a bad enough state that any help from friends and family would likely require much more from them than they would be able to give, and I didn't want to put that on anyone. 

Of course, I'd been in similar states before, so what was the final kicker? An episode of Psych. It's the one where Shawn goes undercover at a mental institution and interacts with some crazy people. At first, it was a self-critical thought, something like, "Pshh, maybe I need to be in a mental institution mehhh." But then I realized that maybe that was actually a really good idea. 

Also, I had stopped taking my depression/anxiety medication, for like 2 or 3 weeks. I'd found out later that they were actually helping, but at the time I only knew that they weren't helping as much as I wanted them to. It was disappointing and discouraging, so I just got mad and stopped taking them. Of course then I got worse and that got me to a point where taking drugs to feel better didn't make sense; from my depressed perspective, there was no hope of improvement, so why set myself up for disappointment? 

I went to the University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI) at the University of Utah. I went there because a family friend had spent some time there a few months prior and had a really good experience. It was actually really helpful that she had gone before me because then I knew to bring clothes and such when I went to check in, I knew I wanted to go to the Mood Ward on the 4th floor, and I knew that I would be okay afterwards. 

Being There

When they were first processing, I was surprised that they weren't immediately willing to admit me. They asked me to weigh the pros and cons, and at first I couldn't think of any cons of getting the help I needed. Then I realized that staying in the hospital would legitimize my illness to a new level; I needed to be able to handle the consequences of that: namely, feeling crazy, or at least disabled. However, when I really thought about it, it was so worth it. I was mainly being held back by fear and social stigma (because what if people found out I spent a week in the psych ward? Good thing I'm not writing about it on the Internet or anything...), and I didn't want that to stop me from getting the help I needed. 

I finally got admitted around midnight, after about 4 hours of paperwork and processing. I had to leave all my stuff with the staff and get a full-body scan. They charted any scars or bruises that I had and asked about eating disorders and self-harm.

The first day I was in 2 North, a high-risk unit. High-risk in the sense that the beds have two layers of blankets instead of sheets because the thread count is high enough or low enough or something that you can't strangle yourself with them. I didn't feel I needed that level of protection at the time, but I can't say I've never been in that kind of state. 

I mostly slept that first day. I admittedly felt a bit uncomfortable around people who couldn't have a normal conversation or control emotional outbursts every other hour. I didn't think I was that bad, but since I was right there with them, I must be, right? 

Nope. I eventually remembered that it was a hospital. In other words, people were there with illnesses and other ailments. That didn't mean they were to be brushed off or thrown callously into a stereotype. 

Hmm. I have a lot of strong feelings about this, but I'm having a hard time expressing them. Another time, I guess. 

The Mood Ward

That night I was transferred up to 4 North, the mood ward, which is for people mainly dealing with anxiety and depression. It's low-risk, so there are sheets and a lot more autonomy, but there's still an isolation room and plenty of staff and night checks and no locks on doors and all that. It's a good mix of protection and independence. 

I had an awesome team of professionals, comprised of a psychiatrist, therapist, social worker, and a student or two in training. The student(s) mostly observe;  the social worker is there to help you transition once you get out of the hospital, setting up appointments with professionals who are covered by your insurance, setting up family meetings, etc; the therapist has individual psychotherapy sessions with you; the psychiatrist works as a sort of team lead, while also prescribing medication. He set me up with new medication (which was good since I had stopped taking the old ones) and helped monitor if it fit well with me.

A daily schedule was something like: 

  • 8:00 - Breakfast
  • 9:00 - Morning group check-in
  • 10:00 -Art/music therapy
  • 11:00- Meet with psychiatrist
  • 12:00 -Lunch
  • 1:00 - Group psychotherapy
  • 2:00- Recreational therapy
  • 3:00- Meet with personal therapist
  • 4:00- Tea time (sing songs and drink tea/hot chocolate)
  • 5:00 -Dinner
  • 6:00- Work with psychiatric technician
  • 7:00- Meet with team
  • 8:00- Evening group check-in
  • 9:00- Free time
  • 10:00- Lights out and all patients to their rooms
The nice thing is they have all this scheduled, but you're not required to go to anything. I slept through almost everything the first day and it was fine. The only thing you're really required to do it meet with your team, as a team and individually, and even then one time I told my therapist that I just couldn't that day because therapy everyday all day is EXHAUSTING. He was a super cool therapist. 

I never went to group psychotherapy (as opposed to art or music or whatever, this is what you normally think of for group therapy) because I had experienced it at BYU and just wanted this week to  be more...personalized? I don't know. Everything takes a lot of energy out of you. 

There was more free time sprinkled in. I mostly slept or did puzzles, got others to do puzzles, and generally just got really good at puzzles. 

The food was good. Meals were good bonding times, and the other patients were awesome. I really loved the group that was there with me, which I was told was pretty special. We had such a good dynamic. It's amazing how quickly you can bond when you're all so freaked out by life. 

Post-Hospital 

Did it "fix" me? No, and that's not really the point. The rest of the summer was still quite hard, and it's still hard now, but...I felt the hope of recovery and the reassurance that I wasn't alone. I wasn't so hopeless because I knew there were so many people ready and able and trained to help me, and lots of resources.

Coming back to real life was really overwhelming at first, and sometimes it still is. It was really nice to not have access to my phone or anything and essentially just do what I was told with little deviation. It was easy and I needed easy at the time. Sometimes I think about going back; sometimes I'm sure I will. 

Which is fine. There were people there that had been there before, even for their third or fourth time. That was discouraging at first, but now not so much. Now it just seems like a normal part of the recovery process. Like my dad says, it's all about a positive trajectory; I'll still have low points but I'm slowly but surely moving up.

Take care,

-Auto Surf

Question #87744 posted on 09/03/2016 12:46 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What funny name should I give my Wifi? Remember, this could be my ticket to impressing friends and potential spouses alike . . . my eternal marital status is at risk here. Oh, and I've already Googled ideas, there wasn't much.

-Wifi Woman

A:

Dear granadilla,

After looking online I agree there really isn't much I found clever or interesting. I therefore I reached out to my Facebook group and got fifty-some responses from acquaintances friends, and I'm rather hoping none of them are Board readers, because sayonara to what little anonymity I have left. It's tricky trying to share the Board on social media, because I want to share how cool I think it is without disclosing the extent of my involvement. Then again, does it really matter too much? I don't really know, but this isn't the place for this discussion. 'Cause today we're talking WiFi names, and I done rounded up a few.

I've sorted these into two main lists, the first being stuff I got from Facebook/other people and the second list being one I wrote myself. In both lists I've starred the stuff I like best.

For Internet Peeps, By Internet Peeps 

Film/TV References
Dennis Nedry (he's that computer systems guy from Jurassic Park what gets pwned by a Dilophosaurusis)
Routers of Rohan* 
Bill Nye the WiFi
Bill Wi the Science Fi
The Sith Lords
Not the Wifi You're Looking For
My Neighbors are Nasty Hobbitses
I'mNotAWitchI'mYourWifi

#justtechthings
RouterIBarelyKnowHer (after hours of considering this one I still don't really get it... sorry, roomie )
8 Hz WAN IP
Trojan Phishing Virus
BYU Secure
Hey Comcast. You Suck. (a message from the masses)

FBI Surveillance Van
FBI Surveillance Van
FBI Surveillance
FBI Surveillance Van #13
FBI Van
NSA Surveillance Van
We Are Watching You

19shhe.jpg

Music Refs and Such
DropItLikeItsHotSpot
Darn Kids, Get off my LAN!
There Is No Wifi
IDK Wi She Swallowed the Fi*
Hide Your Kids Hide Your Wifi (3 times)
Wi Believe I Can Fi
Pretty Fly for a Wifi (2 times)
TwistAndRoute

Assorted Things
NotYourMomma's Wifi
FREE WIFI
FreeWiFi.JK.LOL 
Get A Job And Get Your Own WiFi
Hike the Wifi
The LAN Down Under
LAN of Milk and Honey
The LAN before Time
The Overmind (reference to Zerg in Starcraft. "The password contains references to other sci fi things that have hive mind antagonists.")
The Promised LAN* (contributed by an alumnus writer)
Cleave Unto Your Wifi
PotipharsWifi
ISIS sleeper agent #4637
TERRORISTS ONLY
Sack of dead koalas (?!?) 
Wrong Password Gets a Virus
Porquefi 
All Your Bandwidth Are Belong To Us (had to include this, because CATS)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks to any and all who helped make the above list. Ya done good. Real good. You've also done well.

But what kind of website would this be if I didn't offer up some original content? I'll tell you, we'd be like Fuzzbead and Trashpanda and all those clickbaity websites with "readers" or whatever who apparently "visit" the site and I'm not jealous of these trashy websites that spread all their crappy pictures about "Things Grandmas Say While Knitting Acrylic Taco Cats" across like thirty slides and halfway through clicking them you're like "this is garbage" but it's 3 AM and you realize you're eating a gallon of "ShurSaving Vanilla Badger Chunkz Frozen Dessert (Now with Real Badger Chunkz!)" all by your lonesome so you just weep a little into it which makes you cry more because your tears are dripping into the melting concoction and you can see all the salt up in yo' eyerain just causin' more melting and so you just keep on eating the whole bucket and crying and clicking 'cause...

19sht6.jpg

...dang, my gallon's out. Guess I'd better get on with...

Stuff I Made Up (yay!) 

Router Puns
Clam Router
BostonClamRouter
NewEnglandClamRouter
UpACreekWithoutHerRouter
NeverDoubtHerBoutHerRouter
WiFi You'd Router Use...
...We'd RouterNot (great as a sequence of routers)
Rough Routers
Sr. Teddy Roosevelt & the Rough Routers

WiFi Puns
NoNeedToFlyByStayForWiFi
Will Trade Pie For WiFi
Versailles Wifi
NoEyesDryWithoutWiFi
WiFight The Feeling? (You want flirtatious? You got flirtatious.)
HoWiFind Friends 
SwipeRightForWiFi 
GoodbyeLiFiJustGotWiFi*
GetALiFiGetOffWiFi
ForgotMyLifiB4MyWifi
SciFiWiFi
SkyHiWiFi
Wi-Fidelity
WiFindUMostInteresting
WiFiAndDry
Seek, And You Shall WiFind

LAN Puns
ELAN Musk
Raisin LAN: Good and Good For You
Raisin LAN: Good and Good for Throwing Away
Out of the LAN and Into WiFire
LAN with a Plan
AtLANtis
One Huge Leap for LANkind
LAN of the Free, Home of the Paid
LAN, HO!*

Literary References
LAN of Green Gables*
Bingley's Bandwidth
NoWifi4Wickhams*
IProxy and Prejudice
PemberlyISP
Internet Proxy Of Pemberly
Regency Routers
BuckinghamBandwidth
Sr. Darcy's Domain
Austenholics Anonymous
WiFi oF Sauron
Speak, LAN, and Enter (just don't make the password "mellon")
Alice In WiFiLand
StupeFi
Wingardium LeFiosa

Film/TV
D.Zoolander WiFi For Adults Who Can't Internet Good
Zoolander Center For Kids Who Can't Adult Good*
Rabies Run 4 The Cure
Rabies Router 4 the Cure
Beets. Bandwidth. Battlestar Galactica.
To WiFinity And BEYOND!
Ron Swanson's Center for Bacon & Bandwidth
Give Me ALL the Bandwidth You Have
My Other Router Is A Tardis
Come Fi With Me/ Come WiFly With Me
Orphans Here Is Wifi, Love Nacho
UR The Scum Between My Toes Love Alfalfa
The Blur 2
SkyNet
Beauty and the Bandwith
House of LANnister*
Pace Yourselves WiFi Is Coming
LANdo Calrissian
milLANnium falcon
WiFortress of Solitude
You Think WiFi Is Your Ally?
Mario vs Browser
Transformers:RoutersInDisguise*

Internet Themed
Ctrl+Z
Internetervention
Karaoke Czar
WhenInDuressJustPinterest
Bushes of Love*
MALK
Buffering Tonight
#NeverWindows10
Buffering...
FreeWiFiForHarambe
Internaut Training Program
NASA Internaut Training Program
YoNoSpeakAmericano
Error 404: Pinterest Not Found
Blue Screen of Death
ImWatchingYouWazowski (bonus points if you can get a neighbor to name theirs "Always Watching" and yet another to name theirs "Always")
GoodByeShutEye
SleepNoMore
Less Drowsing More Browsing
Cats and Such
Cats Of Instagram
Good Sir Fluffernutter's Feline Center For Human Studies*
Internet Catservation Post
Servers For Servals
Linksys for Lynxes
Cat Video Factory, LLC.
Caturday Night

BYU
Whoosh, Cecil
Hey Baby I'm Worthen
YFi
YFindWiFi
YFindWiFiUFoundMe
Brigham's Bandwidth
Ready Set Net
Kickin' With Cosmo
Provo Speakeasy (?)

Band Names
Want your friends to know you and you WiFi are deep and mysterious, profound, yet groovin'? Look no further than a choice from the ultimate Board list of band names in Board Question #82025, featuring such gems as:
Autocorrect Strikes Again
Denim Sushi
Unread Books On My Nightstand
Magical Mystery Trout
P as in Terradactyl
The Dog Knows Our Secrets 
Your Best Friend's Myspace Band 
Puppy Vomit
The Three Counts of Monte Prejudice 
Creeping Prodigal
The Traumatizing Spider Incident
Project: Prometheus
Karate Chop Your Butt 

Pathetic attempts at those acrostic letter poem things
Wireless Is First Instinct?
Where Is Free Internet
Will International Fish Indulge?
(this is not working.) 

Scraping the bottom of the barrel
ISPWithMyLittle Eye Someone Who Is Bored
Will Trade Waffles For Pandas (I know I would)
Insomniac's Redoubt
Insomniac's Companion
Defenestrators Anonymous*
Defenestration of Prague
HelloInsomniaMyOldFriendICometoLookatCatsAgain
Yogurt Palace (my apartment WiFi when I came back from my mission)
Hairy Otter & The Secret of Dim Sum
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

When I came up with that last one, I knew it was time to stop.

I mean, there's no way you're ever topping that. Unless, of course, you let your inner connoisseur prevail and go with Good Sir Fluffernutter's Feline Center for Human Studies; it practically screams date-ability and positively reeks of good taste.

19shzj.jpg 

After finally finishing this lengthy list, I re-read your question and saw you were concerned "this could be my ticket to impressing friends and potential spouses alike . . . my eternal marital status is at risk here." Daring not to leave such a thing to the whims of passing ruffians, I almost considered saying something like... like...

It has been a couple of days since I have tried to think of something witty to put in the preceding sentence. I'm at a loss. I think I spent too long on this question, to the point where I began to imagine I held some sort of connection to you, the person who had asked it. Knowing this to be untrue, however, I think part of me wanted to change that, figure out a way to say something dashingly charming, something brilliant, something that would sweep you and all the readers off their feet, but I eventually realized the more I tried to plan out anything elegant for this situation I realized anything I concocted would be less Mr. Darcy and more, well... 

Do the Collins.gif
(source)

Yeah. Not good. This answer needs to be published, and fast. My greatest regret is in delaying it so long beyond the 100 hours in which it was promised.

darcy 1.png

Suerte,

--Ardilla Feroz

P.S. Should you or any other reader ever wish to reach me, I remain reachable via e-pigeon at ardilla(dot)feroz(at)theboard.byu.edu. It's always fun to hear from readers.

Question #87702 posted on 08/19/2016 8:22 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Recently I kissed a girl. So naturally I began to wonder how does one forge a ring out of their own blood? I mean there is iron and other stuff in our blood so hypothetically it could work, right? So how do I do it and how much blood will I need? I anxiously await your response.

Enamored

A:

Dear Hopefully-not-a-Murderer,

Conveniently, I just read an article similar to this not two days ago on Reddit.  The question is about forging a sword, but you can still extrapolate from their measurements how much blood is needed for an average ring instead of a sword.  In summation: a male of average height and health has 4 grams of iron in their blood, or 2.7g/gallon (average women have less blood in their bodies and also less iron in their blood [excluding menstrual blood], so for the sake of simplicity, we'll use men's blood as the benchmark).

Thank goodness Andy is into science and math stuff and can help with this question  (and our future income. #cha-ching).

Andy and I will use our own wedding rings as standards for this question.

Andy's wedding ring measure 9 grams, but it is made of titanium, a lighter metal.

My wedding band set is 7 grams, made of diamonds and white gold.

For our purposes, we'll just use Andy's ring.  His ring is made of just one material, so it is easier to calculate.  Also, you also sound like a dude, so I assume you want a manly ring.

Based on this chart [snipped for our purposes], iron is more dense than titanium:

really finished.PNG

Therefore, let's imagine that Andy's ring is made of pure iron instead of pure titanium.  If we match volumes, Andy's ring would now be made of approximately 15.5 grams of iron.  This is our standard for all future formulas.

So, given our earlier estimate of 4 grams of iron in the human body, a ring made of 15.5 grams of iron would require roughly six gallons of blood. 

Let's split this question into 2 fields now.  You say you want to make the ring from your own blood, yes?  An average male can lose 1 pint of blood without adverse side effects, and humans can fully replenish that amount of red blood cells in 4 months (this is why you are only permitted to give blood once every 16 weeks).

6 gallons x 8 pints/gallon x 16 weeks/pint = 768 weeks, or 14.77 years. 

If you are willing to put yourself in more danger by taking more blood (maybe 2 pints at a time), or allowing less time to pass between replenishment (maybe 8 weeks instead of 16 weeks between extractions), you could easily have your ring much quicker.

Now, second scenario: Suppose that you're totally cool with murdering people and draining their bodies of blood entirely.

6 gallons/ring / 1.5 gallons/body = 4 bodies/ring.

Therefore, you must kill and completely drain 4 people to obtain enough iron in their blood.

As for how you make the actual ring after obtaining your blood: a centrifuge is useful in separating red cells and plasma.  Set aside the plasma and dehydrate the red blood cells.  Now take a big ol' magnet to the red blood cells, and voila.  Cast it using a mold and hot flames, and you my friend, will have an iron blood ring to terrify woo the ladies.

But why should we stop at iron?  There are many other trace amounts of metal in the human body, so let's find out how many people you need to kill and drain to forge rings out of those metals!

     Trace Metals             Amount found in the average 70 kg human          How many bodies needed for an average ring    
Gold 0.2 mg  193,200
Nickel 10 mg  1780
Zinc 2 g ~7 
Copper 140 mg ~128 

ronswanson.jpg

(source)

Disclaimer: Steel is much stronger than iron, so may I recommend converting it into steel before forging it into a ring?  It's a simple process, really.

Secondary disclaimer: Don't kill people, you guys.

-April Ludgate and Andy Dwyer

Question #87590 posted on 08/09/2016 4:14 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why can't you bookmark songs on Pandora anymore? Or can you? On my profile it shows a list of songs I bookmarked a forever ago when such things were still easy... it taunts me like a pen that obviously still has ink, but refuses to function. What a punk.

Best wishes, Hephaestus

A:

Dear Heffalump,

I've never had a Pandora account.  I think Pandora is overrated, so I created a Pandora account just for you and this question.  You're welcome.  

I cannot speak for past generations of Pandora, but here's my findings.

 Screenshot_2016-08-08-14-18-13.png

Here's my home page, with some radio stations I selected (long live Bowie).

 Screenshot_2016-08-08-14-19-14.png

Here's the screen when I click on the David Bowie station (come on, Pandora, I've already got a Beatles station).

 2016-08-08 14.24.13.png

Tap on the arrow that I've circled in order to pull up additional options.

2016-08-08 14.24.51.png

Tap again to bring up even more options.

Screenshot_2016-08-08-14-19-39.png

 On this last menu, you can now tap "bookmark."

Now I can go to my profile and see my bookmarks:

 2016-08-08 14.33.12.png

There.  Now I can be done with this app.

Actually.  This app is pretty cool.  Dang.

-April Ludgate, finally being dragged into the 21st century of music listening by the Greek god Hephaestus.

Question #87410 posted on 10/17/2016 5:33 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

My dad often voices the opinion that the world gets scarier every year. It's been easy to hop on that bandwagon these last few months, what with the conflict and humanitarian crisis in the Middle East, the racial and political tension in the US, escalating aggression from Russia and North Korea, and the fear of unpredictable, unpreventable terrorist attacks hovering in the air much like the nuclear threat of the Cold War.

I've been wondering whether this syndrome—longing for bygone days when humanity was less evil, violent, and corrupt—reflects real changes in the world or just normal nostalgia. I've generally thought the latter: I think we, humans, have a tendency to exaggerate the severity of present problems in comparison to past ones. I've always thought that there probably wasn't any more darkness in the world during my lifetime than, for example, that of my grandparents who lived through the Korean and Vietnam wars or my great-grandparents who survived WWII and the Great Depression.

But is there any case to be made for "this time is different"? Since terrorism as we know it today is a relatively new phenomenon, is it possible that the constant and arbitrary threat of violent death is simply going to be reality from now on? Is it possible that ISIS will continue to wreak havoc in the Middle East and elsewhere for years to come? Is it possible that the increasing friction between Black Lives Matter and police departments is only the beginning of an American race war? And even if all of these awful, awful conflicts continue, are they really worse than those our ancestors faced?

Just wondering. Obviously this isn't really a time-sensitive question, so don't feel bad about holding it over if you have to. No rush.

-Thusly

A:

Dear Thusly,

I don't think we have more problems now than ever before, but because of globalization and the internet we know more about all of them, even the problems not in our immediate area, so we care more. Also life is no longer about barely subsisting, so we have more energy for caring about world events. It's a lot easier to get riled up about world violence when you're not worried about just getting enough food to survive.

I decided to make an enormous list of the bad things of every era since Christ's death, because sometimes I think we dramatize events in our own lives so much that we forget we're really not that unique. Our specific set of problems are unique, but we're definitely not unique in that we face serious challenges. Some may argue that the challenges currently facing the world are "worse" than any from the past, but I personally don't agree with them. If we're just talking about number of deaths, our generation is actually doing pretty well in comparison to ages past. So here's the evidence of that, and you can make up your own mind if what we face in this day and age is worse than what people have dealt with in the past.

Disclaimer: I know this list is biased. It's pretty Euro- and Amero-centric, and I apologize for that. I tried to get a good sample from around the world, but I know the most about Europe and the U.S. Furthermore, I deliberately highlighted the bad from each epoch, because it would be ridiculous to compare the worst from our age with the best from another, so I realize that this list is biased in that sense, as well.

Late Antiquity: 0-400.

From an LDS perspective, one of the most tragic events of this time period is the fact that the true church of Christ was corrupted and lost completely from the earth.

From any perspective, regardless of religion, a horrific part of this time period is the bitter persecution faced by Christians in the Roman Empire. They were tortured, imprisoned, dislocated, and killed.

Also, everything in the Colosseum was pretty terrible, with gladiator fights being a main attraction.

Trouble brewed in the Middle East when Jerusalem was sacked, and most of the casualties from it were peaceful citizens, whose blood purportedly ran down the temple steps in a river. 

Various barbarian tribes raided and pillaged, leaving death and destruction everywhere they had been. Notable among them stand the Huns, the Vandals, and the Goths. Among them they conquered large portions of modern day Spain, Italy, Portugal, Germany, France, and North Africa. If we stop to think about what conquering means, we'll realize the enormous loss of life that came with this expansion.

Speaking of the Huns, they were so feared that when they started moving westward into Europe, they prompted the other barbarian tribes to move out of their way in the Great Migration, eventually contributing to the fall of the Roman Empire, as one of the greatest and longest lasting empires of the world crumbled into pieces.

The Three Kingdoms War in China was a protracted bloody conflict in which tens of millions of people died (somewhere between 36 and 40 million). The invading troops also plundered villages and raped women in their path, and some people had to resort to cannibalism after their food sources were completely wiped out by the invading armies.

The Middle Ages: 400-1400. 

The Black Plague swept across large portions of the world, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. It's estimated that 75 to 200 million people died from it in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. It decimated about 30% of Europe's population. That's three out of every ten people dead.

Aside from the plague, medieval life in Europe was still pretty terrible. Hygiene and disease prevention was virtually non-existent, and there was a never ending series of petty conflicts over land. 

International terrorism was a pretty real thing thanks to the Vikings. They raided and pillaged, and tended to target monasteries. They helped expand trade routes and globalization, but they also left destruction took in their wake.

Speaking of international terrorism, let's not forget the Crusades! We worry today about violence in the name of radical religion, but the Crusades are a pretty good example of that from about a thousand years ago. The death toll from them is estimated to be anywhere between 1 and 3 million.

Of course, some good things happened during this time. The Byzantine Empire had a culture of scientific and philosophic learning, and they finally stopped persecuting Christians. Of course, they also went through a cycle of conquering, losing, and reconquering lands, so war was pretty constant.

Meanwhile in the western hemisphere, the Aztec Empire was in full swing. They had a very rich culture and a lot of scientific knowledge, but they also practiced bloody human sacrifices. They would ritualistically remove the still beating heart from their victims on an altar on top of their temples, and practiced ritual cannibalism on certain occasions. 

The Incan Empire was also doing pretty well, and was a high point (ha, literally. The heart of their civilization was high in the Andes) of society at the time. Of course, they would perform child sacrifices, so there's that. And let's remember that every time we say "empire," that implies conflict of lands and peoples as the empire expands.

In Asia, Genghis Khan was uniting the Mongols and laying the basis for the largest continuous land empire in all of history. In the process he became one of the most feared men of all time, racking up a death count in the tens of millions. China's population dropped by as much as half as a direct result of his pillaging, and it's estimated that his forces wiped out up to 11% of the total world population.

The Renaissance: 1300-1600.

When we think of the Renaissance we think of Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael, etc. Wait, maybe I'm thinking of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Either way, whether I'm talking about superhero turtles or famous Renaissance painters, life would appear to be pretty good. And it is true that the Renaissance saw the advent of a lot of new artistic and scientific methods, finally putting an end to the Dark Ages. However, the basic standard of living didn't actually change for most people. Remember the war and disease that ran rampant during the Medieval era? If you were a peasant, that all continued during the Renaissance, as the upper crust argued about the morality of depicting baby Jesus as a baby instead of a baby-sized man.

War was still a fact of life, especially with new technologies like gunpowder and muskets. During the Renaissance there were at least thirteen major wars in Europe, each with differing death tolls. 

The Catholic Church reigned supreme in Western Europe at this time, and it was rife with corruption. This, along with other corruption within the Church, led to the Protestant Reformation, which in turn led to the bitter persecution of various Protestant sects.

Not only was the Church corrupt, but many political systems were, as well. Henry VIII ushered in the era of the divine right of kings in England, giving royalty a blank check as far as how far they could go, because all their terrible actions were justified by the fact that they were royalty. 

Meanwhile in Italy, the Medici empire operated and ran the entire country through a complex system of corruption. Think of the Mob, and you have an accurate picture of the entire political system in Renaissance Italy.

If you want more specific examples of Renaissance-era gore, take a look at Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Count Dracula, so named because he impaled his enemies on spikes, and Elizabeth Bathory, a serial killer who tortured and murdered anywhere between 80 and 650 young women in the space of about 20 years.

Christopher Columbus "discovered" America, and subsequent explorers essentially wiped out various native civilizations. Entire empires were subjugated to the explorers, who had the military advantage thanks to the advent of guns. Many explorers, such as Hernan Cortes, saw it as their Christian duty to kill people they saw as pagans, leading to the wholesale slaughter of millions of people. It's estimated that about 80-90% of Native American populations were killed during the conquest of America.

Trade with the New World and the Old World commenced, and a big part of that trade was disease, with smallpox being introduced to the Americas, and syphilis being introduced to Europe.

1600-1700.

This era was characterized by widespread political and social upheaval and wars. Across the map empires were clashing in bloody conflicts, destroying old regimes and replacing them with new ones.

Europe was ripped apart by a seemingly never-ending train of religious wars, and members of religious minority groups faced bitter persecution. Perhaps the best known war of the time is the Thirty Years War, which started as a religious conflict, and eventually became a general European political war that lasted for thirty years and killed around 8 million people. 

European settlers started moving to America in larger numbers, which is cool because it led to the foundation of the United States, but also bad because they took land from Native Americans and laid the foundation for the idea that exploiting the native populations was fine. For example, Spanish settlers in Santa Fe routinely took lands from Native Americans, and used the natives as forced labor on their own encomiendas. 

The Cossack-Polish War in Ukraine was accompanied by atrocities committed against the civilian population, and millions of Jews were massacred.

The Manchu Conquest of China led to 25 million deaths as two empires warred for control of the country for decades.

1700-1800.

Wars in Europe continued as the norm during this period, spurred on by a complex system of alliances. So again, think of political instability, shifting regimes, and continuous fighting and death. 

European trade with Africa continued to introduce diseases to native populations, and several groups of African people were wiped out by smallpox

Slavery in a global sense took off during this epoch, reaching its peak late in the century. Slavery had existed before this, usually as prisoners of war were forced to work for their captors, but the need for cheap labor in the Americas led to the onset of race-based slavery. This was a particularly pernicious form of slavery, because it meant that even a slave's descendants would be consigned to a life of slavery. It also set the stage for centuries of racial tension and strife in multiple countries.

The French Revolution (the one everyone has heard about, but definitely not the only one) happened at the latter end of the century. It propagated values such as liberty, equality, and fraternity, and helped lay the foundation for modern liberalism. However, it also led to the Reign of Terror, in which tens of thousands of people were executed via guillotine, and even more were executed throughout the country. All told, around 40,000 people were killed by the state in less than a year and a half.

1800-1900

Napoleon led the French against various European powers during the Napoleonic Wars, which lasted about 15 years. The Napoleonic Wars are notable for their scope and size, and in addition to about 3 million soldiers who were killed, up to 3 million civilians also died as a direct result of the wars. They also led to the Holy Roman Empire dissolving, and helped weaken the Spanish Empire. 

Taking advantage of the weakened state of the Spanish Empire, almost all Latin American countries staged revolutions during this time. While they were able to gain independence from outside rule, the revolutions also entailed a lot of violence, and in many cases led to years of political turmoil and unstable governance, with many dictators establishing themselves in various countries. 

The Taiping Rebellion was an enormous civil war in China spanning over a decade. It holds the dubious honor of being the bloodiest civil war in history, and estimates for those killed during it range between 20 and 30 million, but some estimates are as high as 100 million (that's 25 million more people than were killed in WWII). Millions of people were displaced from their homes during this time, and even after the war ended, some groups of rebels remained fighting in some provinces for seven more years. 

The Second Industrial Revolution led to innovations in all sorts of technology and allowed for unprecedented wealth and an improved overall standard of living for many people across the world. However, it also set the stage for horrible working conditions for lower class workers, who were exploited and abused for their employers' gain. This is the era of child labor, of horrific work accidents, and the advent of the slums as urban centers tried to deal with a massive influx of workers. 

From an American perspective, this century is notable for the Civil War. The Battle of Antietam was the single bloodiest day in American history, with over 22,000 casualties.

The Trail of Tears was responsible for displacing hundreds of thousands of Native Americans from their lands, marching them across the United States in a dangerous trek, and relegating them to reservations on land that not even the government wanted. To this day, Native American tribes are officially confined to their reservations.

1900-2000

At the start of the century, Africa and Asia were heavily colonized by various European countries, with everyone wanting a foothold in those continents. The culture of colonialism was accompanied by a general lack of regard for native customs and people, as most Europeans believed they were civilizing savages. For example, in British India there was a marked effort to squash Indian culture and replace it with "more refined" British customs.

Even after European rule was overthrown in most countries, echoes of it remained. The Apartheid in South Africa is one stunning example of this, with the rights of black citizens being largely ignored.

World War I tore the world apart from 1914 to 1918, with almost 18 million people dying as a result of the war, and over 20 million wounded. It also heralded the beginning of chemical warfare, and is an example of total war, with intense hatred towards anyone from the opposing side, and the large impact it had on civilians as well as soldiers. The Ottoman Empire also used the war as a smoke screen for their ethnic cleansing of Armenians, killing about 1.5 million.

Not long after the end of WWI, the Ottoman Empire was completely dissolved, with a lot of accompanying political turmoil and violence.

The Great Depression caused an economic slump not just in the United States, but also throughout the world. Unemployment was at an all-time high, and suicide rates skyrocketed. 

World War II is perhaps the most well-known atrocity of the 20th century, having the highest death toll for a man-made event in all of history, at over 74 million deaths. Russia alone suffered about 11 million deaths. Prisoners of war who were taken captive by the Japanese were subjected to inhumane treatment and torture outlawed by the Geneva Convention. And of course we can't forget about the Holocaust. Jews across Europe were rounded up and killed, along with gypsies, homosexuals, and disabled people, in one of the biggest genocides in history. Virtually every country in the world was impacted by this war, and the consequences are hard to measure. If I were to go into detail about every horrific part WWII I would be writing for days.

Human rights in Central and South America were a mess. Almost all Latin American countries had at least one dictator during this century, and some of them had several. With these dictatorships came a long list of human rights violations, economic instability, and generally poor living conditions. Some of the more notable dictators include...

  • The Castro brothers. After overthrowing Cuba's totalitarian dictator in 1959, Fidel quickly became a dictator himself. Due to failing health he passed the ruling baton on to his brother Raul in 2008, who continues in power to this day. That's almost 60 years of two brothers being in complete government control in Cuba. They have enforced unlawful imprisonments, unfair trials, executions of citizens without trials, and widespread government censorship. Since the Cuban Revolution of 1959, Cuba has made the “list of the Worst of the Worst: the World’s Most Repressive Societies for widespread abuses of political rights and civil liberties” more consistently than any other country in the world.
  • Augusto Pinochet (Chile) and Jorge Rafael Videla (Argentina). Contemporaries of each other, they both led right-wing revolutions in their countries in the latter end of the 20th century, ushering in the so-called dirty wars, a period in which secret police hunted down, imprisoned, tortured, killed, and "disappeared" people with supposed communist tendencies. Tens of thousands of people were killed by their own government during this time period, with their families receiving no information about what had happened to them.
  • Rafael Trujillo (the Dominican Republic) led one of Latin America's bloodiest dictatorships from 1930 to 1961. Under his rule an estimated 50,000 were killed, including the genocide of up to 10,000 Haitians in the Parsley Massacre (so called because soldiers showed a sprig of parsley [perejil in Spanish] to everyone and asked them what it was called. Those who could pronounce it correctly were assumed to be Dominicans, while those who had trouble with the R were Haitians, whose native language is Creole. After mispronouncing the word, Haitians were then executed on the spot.) Trujillo also helped set the foundation for intense racism against Haitians in the Dominican Republic.
The Russian Revolution at the beginning of the century led to the creation of the Soviet Union, which was replete with human rights violations and atrocities. Joseph Stalin was responsible for more deaths than Hitler, thanks to the gulags (work camps for enemies of the regime), the Soviet secret police who were charged with suppressing internal discontent, his Great Purge, and the genocide of Ukrainians through a carefully orchestrated famine. The famine, Holodomor (Ukrainian for "death by hunger"), caused up to 7.5 million deaths and was indescribably horrific. Elsewhere in the Soviet Union there were near constant shortages of basic necessities of life for everyone, with the ever-present fear of arbitrary imprisonment looming overhead. The Soviet Union's immense political power also ended up leading to the Cold War, as the world lived in fear of nuclear annihilation for years.
 
China experienced turmoil throughout the century, with years of civil war and instability, which culminated in the dictatorship of Mao Zedong, who ushered in communism in China. Under Mao, China experienced the Great Famine, in which anywhere between 20 to 43 million people died of starvation, and some people resorted to eating their own children in order to stay alive. Mao's economic policies led to shortages throughout the country, and there was widespread censorship. The Tiananmen Square Massacre took place in 1989, in which anywhere between several hundred to thousands of students were killed by the government.
 
Pol Pot ruled in Cambodia, forcing people out of urban centers to work in the countryside. During the Khmer Rouge regime which he presided over, millions of citizens were marched to empty fields where they were forced to dig their own mass grave, and then killed. It is estimated that due to the combined effects of executions, malnutrition, poor working conditions, and lack of quality medical care, up to 25% of all Cambodians died during Pol Pot's regime.
 
The Korean War was accompanied by war crimes and human rights violations by both the North and South Korean governments, and ended with Korea officially being split into North and South, laying the groundwork for North Korea to become a communist stronghold with a totalitarian government.
 
The Vietnam War led to over 1 million deaths, including the deaths of many Vietnamese, Laotian, and Cambodian civilians. Watching the footage of carnage, and feeling that it was all for nothing led to widespread American opposition to the war, along with a sense of hopelessness.
 
In general, Americans became largely disenchanted with government as a series of governmental scandals took place, notable among them being Watergate and the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. 

Many African nations faced dictatorships and bloody civil wars during the end of the 20th century, with widespread government corruption and political executions, torturing, and imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of citizens in each country. It's hard to emphasize enough the terror that became widespread in so many different countries during this time, and the extreme acts of violence that became commonplace for civilians of all social classes. Many of the African dictatorships started during the end of the 1900's continue to this day. For a pretty comprehensive list of the worst African dictators, and some of the specifics of what they did, check this list out.

 

So again, to repeat what I said at the beginning, I don't think we as Americans, or as a world, are doing worse than we ever have before. You might be tempted to look at how many horrifying things I wrote down between 1900 and 2000 and say that because I wrote more for that century than any of the others so far, our world situation really is getting worse, but that has a lot to do with the availability of information from that time period and the fact that the 20th century is my favorite one to study, so I know more about it than any other time period I wrote about here. But in light of the many, many atrocities that have happened throughout history, I think it's somewhat egocentric of us to think that we have it worse than anyone else. Yes, life right now is hard, and there's a lot of global uncertainty and problems, but that's the way life has always been. As it turns out, that's just part of life, and it's really hard to compare problems from different time periods. However, that doesn't make everything happening now any less tragic. As one of the websites I already linked to here said, for somebody's family and friends, the difference between zero and one deaths is infinite, and when we talk about death tolls in the hundreds, thousands, or even millions, we tend to forget the humanity behind every single one of those numbers. So even though death and suffering is a constant factor across all social classes, nations, and periods of history, let's all do what we can to try to decrease the suffering other people go through, and be empathetic of others' problems.

-Alta

Question #87236 posted on 07/08/2016 5:32 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What are the most favorite colors used at Color Me Mine? Which ones do they go through the fastest?

-Liquid Paper

A:

Dear LP,

Andy and I went to their store in Provo for the purpose of answering this question.

The sales assistant said that these sets of color gradients are very popular (the top left shade is one coat of paint, the bottom right shade is three coats of paint):

2016-07-08 15.50.05.jpg

Also these colors:

2016-07-08 16.10.45.jpg

Last but not least, these colors are very popular for BYU paraphernalia:

2016-07-08 16.11.24.jpg

But hey, we couldn't go into Color Me Mine without painting our own creations:

colormemine1.png

Me, sad, because I suck at painting.

colormemine2.png

Andy, determined, because he also sucks at painting, but tries his best. 

Our finished products won't be fired and ready to pick up until Tuesday.  But hey, we answered your question (and surprisingly, neither of us used any of the more popular colors).

-April Ludgate

Question #87217 posted on 07/12/2016 12:18 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

In the movies, women are able to skillfully wrap their body -- covering the important parts -- with one single towel. I've always been perplexed by this because I was never able to get a towel to do that for me, and stay up on its own. It's like a magic trick to me. Can you give me step by step instructions on how to wrap my bod in a towel and be able to tuck it just right so that it doesn't slip down? If it is possible...

-Vogue Villain

A:

Dear person,

Per your request, here are my step-by-step instructions:

Step 1: Go to a store to purchase a towel.  Here is a list of stores in which you can buy towels.

  • Walmart
  • Target
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Literally anywhere

Step 2: Purchase said towel.  Ensure that it is not a washcloth or hand towel, but a true, full-sized, body towel.

Step 3: Bathe yourself, so that your wet nature is in accordance with correct towel usage.

 towelfirst.png

Using Andy as my model, because look at that glorious chest hair.

Step 4: In a towel-like fashion, wrap the towel around your body. 

 towelwrap.png

There's only so much of a towel I can show online.

Step 5: Tuck the top, open flap of the towel into the top of the wrapped portion.

 towellast.png

The final product.

towelfinal.png

His blocked face really says it all in this picture.

Step 6: Continue your life as normal.  Never put clothes on again.  Become Rita Ora.  Embrace life in a towel, for now it is all you will ever know.

 towel.png

Watch out for oil burns!

 towelreading.png

Andy, in his natural state: reading.

 towelvideogame.png

(Mind that you don't spread your legs too much.)

Ta-freaking-da.

-April Ludgate

P.S: Shout-out to Andy for modeling.  You're going places, baby.

Question #87125 posted on 06/26/2016 10:18 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Has the length of board answers increased over time? It seems that whenever I click the "I'm Board!" button and hit an older answer, the length is much less than the answers I see today. I wonder if there's a mathematical trend...?

-Λrchetype

A:

Dear Λrchetype,

Yes, indeed, the average length of Board responses has trended upward significantly.  Response length has increased from an average of ~750 characters in 2003 to ~1250 characters in 2016.  One influence would be that many of the early years would have had answers printed and posted on the physical board and this would have encouraged less verbose answers.

I tried to create a graph potting the number of characters in every Board response, but my spreadsheet really doesn't want to make that graph (over 140,000 rows is too much apparently) and I don't have time to to mess with more accommodating tools at the moment.  So instead, I took the average response length per day and plotted that.  But to make the plot useful I had to remove some outliers.  I removed any day where the average response length was greater than 5000 characters.  We had one writer, *ahem* Sheebs *ahem*, who made a mess out of the data by submitting a response with over 2.3 million characters in it.  My browser doesn't like loading that response either....

Anyway, on to the graph:

Average_response_length_per_day.png

-Curious Physics Minor

Question #87059 posted on 06/21/2016 5:24 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I have a friend who hides from me and another friend. He sends us a picture whenever he gets to his hiding spot. Apparently it's somewhere on campus, we just can't figure out where. Maybe helpful things: he's a chemistry major, he plays volleyball, he likes pizza. Can you help us figure out where he's hiding? Picture: http://imgur.com/uOuFLH6.

Sincerely,
-theguywhothoughtheknewbyucampuslikethebackofhishandbutdoesn'tapparently

A:

Dear Spacer,

If there's anything that Board writers pride themselves on, it's knowing things that other people don't, especially when it comes to BYU. As soon as this question hit the inbox, I was sure that we'd get an answer for it within a few hours. Collectively, we've walked all over this dear campus, and some of us (*cough* *cough* Ardilla Feroz *cough*) have made a point to explore hidden nooks and crannies that sometimes are not accessible to the average student.

It was infuriating, then, when none of us could find it. 

For those too lazy to copy and paste that link, here is the picture in question:

imgur picture.jpg

I took a little walk around the athletic buildings on the day this question came in, suspecting it to be the Smith Field House or the Richards Building. TEN also took a walk, checking the Benson Building, the Nicholes Building, the Talmage Building, and the Eyring Science Center. Nada. I went home to Rubikland over the weekend, so I couldn't investigate further, but I watched as the placeholders and flagettes became a nearly incomprehensible soup of building acronyms: FB, CB, HFAC, BRWB, BYUB, CTB, ESC, HBLL, HFAC, JKB, JRCB, SNLB, TLRB, TMCB, WSC, TNRB, ITB, RB, MSRB, HGB, etc. TEN tried an analysis of buildings that offered student locker rental services, but to no avail. 

By Monday, I was back in Provo, and the spot still remained unfound. After work, I found myself with three hours of free time before FHE, and determined that I would take one final walk and discover this secret corridor once and for all (I also hoped to run into Vienna, who recently became the leader of a small tribe of pygmies that the locals call "EFY kids"). I printed out a map of campus and called for other writers to join my expedition; Luciana was the only one with enough free time/boredom to come help.

I started at the law building, working south through the ROTC, Snell, Brewster, and McDonald buildings. Luciana started by the McKay Building and swung around to check the Testing Center and the JSB and to re-check the Benson and the Nicholes Building. Nada. We met up at the LSB and determined to continue our quest together. We checked the Marb, then the Wilk, then the HFAC and the ASB. Nothing. Hot, sweaty, tired, and running out of time, we decided to make one last push into the athletic buildings before calling it quits at 7 (which is when my FHE started in the RB). We stopped by the FOB on our way, marveling at how thin it is in places. We checked out the Indoor Practice Field, which smelled wonky, and the Smith Field House, which smelled a different sort of wonky. The SFH gave us hope: the carpet was the right color, and in places the walls were made of white bricks which seemed to be the right thickness. Still, nothing. Our search brought us to the top of a set of stairs leading to a really sketchy-looking basement area; as desperate as we were, we decided not to go down.

Wearily, we trudged toward our final destination: the RB. We went upstairs and down, walking slowly, not talking much. We saw dark blue carpet, and we saw thin white brick (we often felt like real estate agents appraising homes), but not in the right combinations. When we reached the end of the last hallway, we sat down on some comfy chairs, feeling defeated. As a last resort (or a "Hail Katya," as TEN called it), we decided to post the picture to our respective ward Facebook pages and ask if anyone had seen a place like it. Admittedly, I wasn't too hopeful that this would work; if two Board writers couldn't find this spot, who could? Besides, the search had been pretty taxing, mentally. Several times we'd already ruled out a particular building, only to visit it when desperation convinced our weary brains that we might have seen the spot there before.

Within a few minutes, some of my ward members had commented on the picture, suggesting it was in the SFH. That had been what Luciana and I considered to be the most likely candidate, and I considered going back after FHE. 7:00 rolled around, Luciana went her way, and I played volleyball and Human Hungry-Hungry Hippos with the FHE fam. As we walked back to one of our houses to eat ice cream, I pulled out my phone and was surprised to find a few missed texts and even a missed call. They were all from another ward member who very emphatically stated that the other people who had posted on my picture were wrong and that he knew where the real secret spot was. As the night went on, a couple of other wardies commented on the picture and said that he was right. Feeling hopeful, I texted Luciana, and we agreed to meet up the next day to follow this new lead.

So, was my ward friend right? Did he know the true location of the secret spot?

See for yourself:

IMG_1230.JPG

(Taken with Luciana's phone)

secretplacebagged2.jpg

(Taken with my phone to prove we were really there. Our height difference made selfies a bit tricky.)

So, yes, we have found your friend's secret spot, and I have to say, it's a good one. It is completely open to the public (I've even been there before, but I didn't remember doing so), but it's off the beaten path enough that you almost certainly wouldn't find it if you didn't know where to look. 

Where is the spot? Well, for some reason, I'm a bit reluctant to put it on the Board for everyone to see. If you email me, I'll give you the exact location and instructions on how to get there, no questions asked. If not, here's a hint: it's in the Wilk, on the bottom floor. Think outside of the box a little on what constitutes the bottom floor of the Wilk, and I think you should be able to find it yourself.

Thanks for the adventure!

-Frère Rubik 

P.S. Just for fun, here's the map we were using:

Goodmap.jpg

Question #87054 posted on 06/20/2016 2:51 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I think I might be having something like anxiety episodes (certainly not panic attacks). When I sit down to study, especially write, I feel this dread. I feel incapable and just want to get away (I'm really good at avoiding sitting down to study in the first place too).

I've tried listening to soothing music and deep breathing but I almost always fall asleep. That cures it but can take hours. Sometimes I just got to get down to business. Any more "active" ways to handle situations like this?

Extra info: Diagnosed with depression but not anxiety. Taking an SSRI.

-Run Away!

A:

Dear Knights of Camelot,

So I have been diagnosed with anxiety and am also taking an SSRI and also experienced what you described on a regular basis. So there's definitely things you can do to help deal with it, like caffeine - as mentioned by Luciana above - exercise, breaking it down into smaller chunks, etc.  Personally, I have realized that the times when I'm more physically healthy (eating well, exercising regularly, regular sleep schedule) that I have much more control over my anxiety and I'm far better able to be productive.  This is especially helpful when I have big projects like you mentioned, because instead of being filled with absolute dread, it's more of a general anxious feeling that's easier to overcome. Caffeine has also been helpful to me at times, but sometimes it just makes me more able to focus on the things I use to procrastinate, so it can be a two-edged sword. As for breaking it down, I know people who swear by this method of dealing with large, intimidating projects, but it has rarely ever worked for me. You may be different.

Now, the thing is, all of these suggestions may be helpful, but ultimately there's a deeper issue.  Get ready, 'cause I'm about to throw some science at you. Anxiety comes from the fight-or-flight response. Particularly, not being able to act on it. Remember, the fight-or-flight response originally was there to spike our adrenaline and some other hormones/chemicals in our body to either A) beat up that other caveman who's trying to steal my dinner, or B) run because that saber tooth tiger will straight up eat me. In both cases, the brain perceives a danger or threat and prepares the body to deal with the threat by either hitting it or running from it. Nowadays, especially in polite society, the things our brains perceive as threats are often not as concrete as they were several thousand years ago. Now, it's more like deadlines for school or work, bills, or asking that girl to Homecoming before someone else does. These things cause our brains to react in the same way as the caveman examples I listed above. The issue with that is that fight-or-flight can't really apply to them. Sure, you can procrastinate that assignment (essentially the flight response), but the deadline will still come, and you'll still have to deal with it somehow. You can also complain or make some sort of scene and try to argue your way out of it (the fight option), but the cases where that helps solve the problem are very few and even farther between. This leaves your brain unable to truly respond to the stressful situation and you get stuck in the fight-or-flight response.

"Okay Dr. Occam," you're probably thinking, "what does being stuck in the fight-or-flight response have to do with me being too anxious to start my assignment?" Well, the answer has to do with how procrastinating in this situation affects your brain. Remember, procrastinating is essentially the flight option; you just ignore the source of stress/anxiety and BOOM! no more feeling of dread. For the moment at least. But remember, unlike the saber tooth, you can't escape your assignment by running. The deadline will come because time moves forward regardless of how you feel about it. So basically, each time you procrastinate, you lower your stress level a bit which your brain likes. The more you do this, the more likely your brain is to say "Hey, stress? Lets avoid the problem, that always feels good," even about things that are typically  less stressful. You can see how this would be a bad cycle to fall into. By avoiding dealing with the causes of your anxiety/stress, you are actually teaching your brain to get stressed and go into the fight-or-flight response for lesser and lesser problems. Basically, you become a drug addict, and the drug you're addicted to is the combination of chemicals released when you get stressed and the chemicals released when you avoid the problem. Awesome right?

So how does one kick this addiction? Well, I'm sorry to tell you that this is the one case with mental health issues where the ever-repeated-by-mentally-healthy-people bit of advice to "Just do the thing!" is actually the solution. I know, it sucks. When my therapist explained this to me about a year ago, I was just like, "Seriously?!" But that's just how it is. To expand the addiction analogy, stress/anxiety is like having a a bunch of slivers in you, all over your body. When you procrastinate or otherwise avoid the causes of your anxiety it's like you're taking pain meds. Sure they make the pain go away for a little while, but every time it comes back, and the more you take, the less effective they become. The real solution to your problem is instead of using your Vicodin to kill the pain and help you ignore your slivers, you need to get a sharp knife (or a needle or something) and use it to cut out each individual sliver. Now, this is painful. More painful than just having the sliver there. I mean, you're cutting into yourself to get this thing out. But when you do it, you have an initial spike of pain that is higher than your general pain level from the slivers, but then your body is able to heal in that spot and the general pain level decreases a bit because you have one less sliver. It works the same with your anxiety. Doing the thing (whether it's asking the girl out, starting that big paper, or applying for that job) is like taking the knife and cutting out one of the slivers. Initially, it'll spike your anxiety way up above your baseline (that's that feeling of dread you get when you go to start the project), but afterwards - once your brain realizes that a 15 page paper is not actually as dangerous as a saber tooth tiger - your stress level will decrease because now the perceived threat is gone (or at least lessened). The sliver is gone and the body is able to heal itself. The more often you make yourself do the thing instead of ignoring/procrastinating it, the more of the metaphorical slivers you remove and the more your mind is able to heal itself and lower your stress baseline to a more healthy level where instead of being filled with dread at the though of starting a project, you just get the general feeling of "I have literally zero desire to do this" that everyone gets when they have to do a big project for a class.

I've created the graph below to illustrate this point. Note that while at some points actually dealing with the cause of stress raises your stress level above the level it would be at if you ignored/procrastinated, by the end, as you do the thing more and more each spike gets lower and lower thus lowering your overall baseline stress level. Having personally done this to deal with my own anxiety, I admit that it sucks at the start. You are basically detoxing yourself and having withdrawals. Your brain wants the quick fix gratification of ignoring the problem, and when you don't let it have that, it kinda freaks out. But just like with real drugs, you can quit, and after a while, the cravings will be gone.

Anxiety Graph.jpg

The last thing I would suggest here is to get people close to you involved. If you have a significant other, explain this to them and get them to support you in your efforts to "detox" yourself. Having that kind of support from and accountability to another person can really help when doing the thing just seems like too daunting a task. And speaking of support, pray. The Atonement is awesome in that it can enable and empower you to do things that otherwise seemed impossible. Ask the Lord to help you to overcome this difficulty. Ask him to give you strength to persevere when it gets hard, and to comfort you if it ever becomes more than you can bear in the moment. If you ask in faith, He will give you the help and strength you need.

Best of luck to you friend. If you want to talk or if you have any questions for clarification, feel free to email me at dr.occam(at)theboard(dot)byu(dot)edu.

Sincerely,

~Dr. Occam

posted on 06/20/2016 7:26 p.m.
Dear Run Away,

In addition do Dr. Occam's (awesome) theoretical answer, I wanted to share a practical approach that might help you with paper writing. As an undergrad, I developed a weird system of writing papers that was, in retrospect, a coping tool for then-undiagnosed anxiety issues.

Suppose that I have to write a 10-page paper. The first thing I will do is pick a crazy font, crank the size up to 96 points and write 10 pages like that. (Sometimes just the header information and title will take up 10 pages.)

Then I say to myself "You wrote 10 pages! It's time to take a break!" and I'll go and do something else for 5 minutes. Then I'm honest with myself and I say "Well, it might be 10 pages long, but it's also in 96-point type, so let's keep going."

Then I'll take it down to the next largest point size (generally 72-point type), pick another crazy font, and start writing again until I reach 10 pages, after which I'll take another short break.

I keep going like that and I keep having to write for longer and longer periods of time as the point size goes down. Eventually I'm having to put in some serious time at 16 or 14 points before I can take a break. However, by that point, my paper is usually more than halfway done, so finishing it doesn't seem nearly as stressful as sitting down to a completely blank page.

For me, one of the biggest stresses about this kind of situation is having to take the first step in a big project, so starting out in a giant font is just silly enough to take the edge off of my anxiety and help me actually take that first step.

Good luck and I hope this helps!

- Katya