If you ever catch on fire, try to avoid looking in a mirror, because I bet that will really throw you into a panic. -Jack Handey
Question #85342 posted on 02/03/2016 6:08 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I was on a website that made a very audacious claim:

"Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings"

I've been searching high and low through scientific articles, dissertations from several religions, but I cannot seem to substantiate this claim with any sort of proof; empirical, religious, or otherwise.

Can you guys help me out? Is this statement really true, or is it a bunch of internet hooey?

-Clarence

A:

Dear Clarence,

This is one of the most misunderstood sayings of our time, stemming from the ambiguity of the word "his." Many have heard this phrase and assumed that it only applies to male angels. The reason for this has been debated for centuries. In 1248, Thomas Aquinas stated, "Femina est mas occasionatus, idcirco demeruit adipisci alis." ("The female is a misbegotten male, therefore she has forfeited her right to obtain wings.") However, John Locke gave a slightly less sexist reason: "Our author rather argues that those angels of the delicate sex must be of such humility and godliness that they have wings as soon as they become angels, and so have no need of obtaining them again, while their less gentle counterparts must work to become worthy of such honor."

While a kinder view, this position is equally incorrect. To understand the true meaning of the phrase, we must study the original quote as it appears in the ancient Epic of Gilgamesh: ">=-v^^^|=< v-><-=". As can clearly be seen, the possessive "->" is not linked in any way to the subject ">=-v," indicating a reference to an entity not named within the sentence. In fact this entity is understood by both Gilgamesh and Enkidu to be En-kappu, discussed a few sentences previous. En-kappu, or "Lord of Wings," was obviously the Sumerian version of the Jewish angel Saziel, the Wing Smith. Thus, the phrase "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings," really means, "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his [Saziel's] wings."

However, Sumerian tradition holds that En-kappu had three daughters and no sons, and seeing that he was soon incapacitated by the beer goddess Ninkasi, one must assume that his duty of making wings passed on to one of these heiresses. So, regardless of whether it was Ninwar, Ninqarna, or Ningamel who took up the family business, the phrase is decidedly out of date. Indeed, your question has brought us to update the phrase to what it really should have become 3000 years ago:

"Every time a bell rings, an angel gets her wings."

-El-ahrairah

Question #85326 posted on 02/02/2016 12:26 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What do you think of Sargon the Great's birth narrative in comparison to Moses's? Coincidence?! Why the similarities? What does that all mean? Is specifically being placed in a basket down a river a common mktif or symbolic?

-Sage

A:

Dear Sage,

I'll see your two baby-in-a-basket stories and raise you one more: Karna. In the great Hindu epic, The Mahabharata, Karna is born through divine means to Kunti, who is unwed. Scared of the stigmas of being an unwed mother, Kunti puts baby Karna (who is for some reason born wearing armor and earrings; that's pretty cool I guess) in a basket and floats him down a river, where he is found by the charioteer Adhiratha and raised as his son (in a lower caste than he would have been if raised by Kunti, who was a princess). Tragically, this means he ends up fighting against his own brothers in the later war between the Pandavas and the Kauravas (who were even trained in fighting by the same mentor guy. This is sad stuff).

So, what do we make of all of these similar stories? Well, my first instinct was to look up when each of these legends were started. Though we have information on Sargon dating back before 2000 BC, the record about his birth (a copy of which can be found here) dates from a record from the 7th Century BC, much, much later. Similarly, Jewish scholars say Moses lived somewhere between 1600-1200 BC, but the oldest version of the Hebrew Torah (which the Old Testament comes from) dates back to the 10th Century BC. Karna is different in that he seems to be a completely mythological character; there's no real evidence (from what I can tell, at least) that he was ever a real person. In any case, the oldest versions of The Mahabharata are from around 400 BC, and the legends that make up the epic likely originated in 800-900 BC.

(Lest ye think I am any expert in ancient texts, let me explain here that I'm getting all of this from a series of Wikipedia articles.)

So, to recap, if we go by what scholars say, than from oldest to most recent, we have

1. Sargon the Great
2. Moses
3. Karna

But, if we go by age of available texts concerning their births, we have

1. Moses
2. Sargon the Great
3. Karna

(Sorry, Karna. I still think you're pretty cool.)

Basically, it's hard to say which came first or who was copying whom or if they all came up with the same idea at the same time. The cultures of that time mixed and intermingled quite a bit, and before they developed writing systems their myths and stories were passed down orally, which made it easier for things from one story to pop up in another. My favorite example of this is from The Epic of Gilgamesh, the oldest surviving literature in all of history (people date the story itself to the 21st Century BC, but the oldest written copies go back to the 18th Century BC). Toward the end of the epic, Gilgamesh meets with Utnapishtim (try saying that guy's name five times fast...or even once), a legendary figure that built a boat to save his family and all the animals from a great flood sent by the gods. Besides the obvious parallels to Noah, there are very interesting aspects of Utnapishtim's story that draw parallels to LDS doctrine, specifically things concerning the temple. 

Anyway, that's where I suspect the similarities come from: mixing of ancient cultures and traditions. Or, it could be that hiding babies in baskets and floating them down rivers was just the latest parenting fad of that time. I suppose we'll never know.

-Frère Rubik

Question #85279 posted on 01/28/2016 8:38 p.m.
Q:

I'm looking for a transcript of a talk given at BYU Women's Conference in 2010 by Julie B. Beck. It's titled "Choose Ye this Day to Serve the Lord." I can't find the transcript anywhere! Help!

Charlotte

A:

Dear Charlotte,

You're right. While I found the video with an easy Google search, I couldn't find a transcript anywhere. However, because I'm an overachiever I took the time to transcribe it myself.

I've attached it here, since it ended up being like ten single-spaced pages (SEE HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU???).

Julie B. Beck Address.pdf

As a disclaimer, since I did it myself I'm sure there are errors. I also was too lazy to put the whole thing in quotation marks. Sorry. Also, transcribing is hard, guys.

Love,

Luciana

Question #85216 posted on 01/22/2016 8:25 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why can you drink green tea if you're following the Word of Wisdom?

-good for you(?)

A:

Dear You,

Um, you actually can't drink green tea if you're following the Word of Wisdom. D&C 89:9 teaches that "hot drinks are not for the body," and the teachings of modern prophets have clarified that "hot drinks" are tea and coffee. 

True tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. All the different varieties we hear about (green tea, black tea, oolong tea, etc) just refer to how the leaves are prepared. Green tea seems to be the most natural of all the varieties, as the leaves are unwilted and unoxidized, and the internet has a whole host of reasons why green tea is great for you. Probably because it's so natural is why some people, even some members of the Church, think that green tea is OK. However, the fact remains that it is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, and is therefore against the Word of Wisdom.

The teas that are kosher for Church members are the ones not made from actual tea leaves. For example, mint and chamomile tea are good to go, because they're not true tea. Zedability pointed out that French even has different words for tea made from the leaves of the real tea plant and herbal tea, because they're completely different things. 

We're pretty fortunate with the Word of Wisdom, in that so many of the guidelines it gives have been scientifically proven to have health benefits. However, I think there's a huge problem when we over-emphasize those scientifically proven benefits, because it almost makes it seem like we follow the Word of Wisdom because of that. Yes, improved health is a great blessing, but first and foremost we should be following the Word of Wisdom because of love for God and respect for what He tells us. When we approach the Word of Wisdom with the mindset of, "I'll do this because it's good for me," it opens us up to potentially breaking it by doing things like drinking green tea because it's good for us. Instead, we should remember that the focus isn't whatever modern health or science have shown about the things we put in our bodies, but showing God that we're willing to obey Him in whatever He asks, even if it doesn't necessarily make sense to us right now. Sorry for getting sort of preachy, but I think this is an important subject, and one that often gets ignored in church lessons.

-Alta

Question #85071 posted on 01/07/2016 10:03 p.m.
Q:

Dear El-ahrairah,

What are the scientific backstories for Barney, Sesame Street, Teletubbies, Boohbah, Dragon Tales, Cyberchase, and Arthur?

-PBS Kids

A:

Dear PBS Kids,

How They Got to Sesame Street

I 

Elmer woke up in the middle of the night to movement. He sleepily looked around and saw his wife, Sesame, at the foot of their bed. She was praying quietly but intensely, thanking God for the unlikely miracle of the recent birth of their healthy daughter. Elmer let his head drop back to his pillow, when he was suddenly blinded by an intense light and heat. He jumped up and ran to his wife, but it was not until the afterimage faded a few seconds later that he realized she was gone. Only some burnt patches of her nightgown and hair remained.

Though scarring, this experience defined the rest of Elmer's life as he dedicated it to finding the cause, and prevention, of spontaneous human combustion. An aspiring particle physicist, he was quickly derided and rejected by his colleagues for his obsession. But he didn't care—when he wasn't raising his daughter, he was researching and experimenting. He finally discovered what caused spontaneous human combustion. Tachyons, faster-than-light particles, were attracted to a force produced by sentience. When an abnormally large number of tachyons were in the area, they targeted these centers of sentience and released huge amounts of energy, resulting in a very tight area of combustion. Elmer quickly went to work on a device that would create large quantities of artificial sentience-force and direct tachyonic bolts away from people. He called it the Lightning Rod, since that's how many people falsely thought lighting rods worked. One late night during a tachyon storm, Elmer began testing the Lightning Rod. He noticed that a piece inside the rod chamber was askew, and in his excitement he entered the chamber. Just as he fixed it, a tachyon bolt hit the rod.

Elmer opened his eyes in a strange world. Surprised to be alive, he realized that the tachyons were so concentrated that their released energy did more than burn him—they temporarily transformed his body into tachyons until it came to an area of enough sentience to release energy and revert back to normal matter. It only lasted a fraction of a second, but that was enough time to travel to another planet with intelligent life. Though lost and confused, Elmer was ecstatic that his machine did more than he'd ever hoped. He dedicated his discovery to his beloved wife and named the planet Sesame.

II

Hundreds of years ago, a planet inhabited by dinosaur-like species experienced a war similar to our own World War II. One side was democratic and peace-loving, and the other side was fascist, racist, and totalitarian. Except this time the fascists won. Religiously devoted to their regime, they ritualistically slaughtered and feasted upon certain "inferior" intelligent species, cleansing their planet. But their planet was not enough—their regime demanded that the entire universe be cleansed of all impure intelligent life. So they developed lightspeed space travel and flew from world to world, destroying all they could find. Hereafter they will be referred to as the Barney.

 III

Unlike the Barney, the Boohbah were not a warmongering race. In fact, they loved nothing better than peace, prosperity, and comfort. They didn't kill other species; they enslaved them. They went from system to system colonizing worlds and subjecting the previous inhabitants as servants and serfs. One year they happened across the planet we know of as Sesame. They found a world weakened by constant war between its several species, and easily began the process of colonization and enslavement.

It was during this time that Elmer suddenly came to Sesame. Luckily for him, he was picked up by a band of native fugitives who had put aside their differences to escape the Boohbah. His new friends included furry humanoids, towering avians, bipedal honkers, and harry pachyderms. Most had relatively large eyes and thick fur to deal with the dim light and cold atmosphere of Sesame. And one became addicted to the Chips Ahoy! bisquits he'd inadvertently brought in his pocket. Together they gathered and developed the necessary equipment, and after several years Elmer was finally able to recreate the Lightning Rod and allow all of them to escape to Earth. As a token of their gratitude, one Sesamese named her son after their savior.

More than anything, Elmer hoped that his working Lightning Rod and alien friends would prove the validity of his discoveries to the scientific community. But his hopes were in vain. His colleagues scoffed at his claims and refused to even examine what they were sure was a hoax. Meanwhile, the Sesamese discovered that they very easily entertained human children, and that they could use that skill to support themselves. Elmer opposed the idea at first, not wanting his friends to appear less dignified than he saw them to be. But then he relented and supported their efforts to start a T.V. show for kids. "We may not convince the parents," he told the Sesamese, "but day by day we will prepare the children to accept your existence."

IV

Detective Chauveau looked into the hospital room window. “He’s mentally unstable, but not dangerous,” the policeman said.

“Has he gotten any worse?” Chaveau asked.

“No, but he hasn’t gotten any better, either.”

“Any marks on his body?”

“None. And nothing missing from the hotel room. The suspect broke in, drugged the victim, and then left. An hour later the victim’s life savings and company account funds were gone. They didn’t find him until this morning, eight hours later.”

Chaveau entered the room. She approached the man in the bed slowly, but there was no response. The man continued to jerk erratically and mutter to himself. Chaveau leaned close.

“Ha-ha-ha-ha-hack-ha-ha-hacker…”

~ ~ ~

The attacks continued. The Hacker targeted businessmen, politicians, secretaries—anyone with critical information in their heads that could be hacked. What’s more, he was impossible to track. He was so thorough at covering his tracks that Chauveau despaired of ever finding him. At least not using traditional techniques. After the third victim was found babbling incoherently, Chauveau stopped looking for clues and delved into the field of psychiatric medication. The victims had trace amounts of chemicals, but it was impossible to match them to an existing drug. Nevertheless, Chauveau used these as starting points, researching their uses and effects. Chauveau barely slept and subjected himself to dangerous experiments, but she did in months what would have taken most scientists years or decades to accomplish. She created her own arsenal of psychiatric drugs. She used these much the same way that The Hacker used his—by combining them with hypnotism, she was able to influence people's minds. She caused them to hallucinate, to see figures that she created, and to think they were in fantastical situations. Except while The Hacker created nightmares that stole information from his victims, Chauveau created friends, angels, and fairies to slowly nurse victims back to mental health and, most importantly, to find out more information about The Hacker. For every time The Hacker looked into your soul, you saw a glimpse of him. Each victim saw him differently, but Chauveau pieced these together—half a nose here, the glint of an eye there—until finally she had a face. Had fingerprints. Had a name.

~ ~ ~

Eight policemen surrounded the suburban house in the early morning. "TIMOTHY DALTON. THIS IS THE POLICE. WE HAVE A WARRANT FOR YOUR ARREST. COME OUT SLOWLY WITH YOUR HANDS UP." They waited a few seconds, and halfway through repeating the call the door opened slowly. A tall, black-haired man in shorts and an undershirt sleepily walked out with his hands halfway up. He looked around tiredly.

"TIMOTHY DALTON, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT. ANYTHING YOU SAY CAN AND WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU IN A COURT OF LAW—"

The man closed his eyes and put a finger to his lips. The megaphone went silent in surprise.

"I will find you," the man said in a voice that was somehow both eerily quiet and loud enough to be heard by all. "Each of you. I will escape, and I will hunt you down, and your families. And I will make each and every one of you pay." Then he stopped, and a couple officers approached him, cuffed him, and drove him away.

~ ~ ~

Each of the officers was relocated in such secrecy that only two relocation officers knew where they were. Despite the best efforts, The Hacker did escape, using chemicals he created from materials in his cell. As soon as she found out, Chauveau contacted the relocation agency to make sure the two officers were secure.

"Don't worry, they're under the highest security and will be under constant surveillance. They don't have a thing to worry about. In fact, they're just wrapping up a Bring Your Kids to Work Day."

Chaveau's heart stopped. "How many children do they have? Where are the children now?"

"Two and one. On the bus back home, I imagine. Wait, you're not worried about them, are you? I really don't see how they could be under threat."

"Give me their addresses."

"I don't think that's nec—"

"Now! I need to get there now!"

The officer relented and gave her the addresses as Chaveau grabbed her drug kit and flew out the door.

The two families were neighbors, and Chaveau found the light on in one of the houses. She knocked on the door, and then opened it when there was no response. The kids were huddled on the floor, doing homework.

"Who are you? What are you doing here?"

Chaveau locked the door behind her and knelt in front of them. She rummaged for different drugs in her bag. "Your parents sent me. They asked me to help you."

"With what?"

"With... your homework. Math? Yes, with your math homework. Now look closely at me. I have some very important things to show you..." She put an open vial under each child's nose and began hypnotizing them. Over about half an hour, Chaveau inoculated them against The Hacker. She gave them a defensive world of robots and aliens, that would be activated whenever The Hacker's drugs took effect. They would distort his hallucinations, changing his nightmares into adventures, his horror into fun. She gave them the ability to fight against him. Solving various puzzles and challenges would give them the needed mental fortitude to resist his attempts to get the data that was in their brains. For what Chaveau had discovered over years of research was that there is far more information in the mind that we might suppose. The kids had seen their fathers' computers, and had very possibly seen the information of the relocated officers. And The Hacker would try everything he could to get it.

The door was slammed open. But Chaveau didn't stop. As the Hacker shouted in anger and ran toward her, she completed the final image—one of herself, a protective mother figure from whom they could receive extra protection. And then The Hacker got her.

V

Hundreds of years ago, a utopian civilization flourished (as utopian civilizations tend to do) on a planet hundreds of light-years away. A rough translation for the name they called themselves is "The Balanced Ones" because they had not only achieved a harmony among their society and with the environment, but they had also seamlessly integrated artificial improvements into their biological bodies. The Balanced Ones lived in peace and prosperity until the unthinkable occurred—their sun went nova. So sudden and unexpected was this disaster that none on the planet survived. The only members of their race remaining were a small interstellar expedition, the first of its kind, that had set off a few years beforehand. The crew consisted of one of each of race's four genders and a carbon dioxide-breathing symbiotic creature that provided the oxygen needed by the Balanced Ones and recycled their waste. The expedition's original purpose was merely to explore a nearby star system, but when they found out the tragedy that had befallen their people they redirected their course to a farther, more habitable planet, hoping to start their race anew. But so long was their journey that their super-intelligent minds began to deteriorate. By the time they landed on Earth, they were bumbling idiots incapable of any serious civilization-building. Meanwhile, the 20th Century American government that intercepted them was disappointed that the only aliens to contact Earth had the intelligence of toddlers. They relocated them to a top-secret facility. Some hoped they would be able to reproduce, but as the years passed this seemed increasingly unlikely. To maintain funding for their continued care, the government released film of their activities jointly with the U.K. as Teletubbies.

VI

 

The Barney reached the planet Sesame at about the same time that Elmer left it. However, the Boohbah had been observing the Barney for a few years, and knew of their obsession of wiping out all other intelligent life. So they pulled one of biggest cons in the galaxy. Right before the Barney arrived, the Boohbah freed all the native slaves and made no effort to control or restrain them. The Sesamese immediately overran the Boohbah. Many were killed, but most were either ignored or forced to do hard labor themselves. Then the Barney landed and started to imprison and kill everyone. Except for the Boohbah. The Boohbah made no attempts to flee approaching Barney. In fact, they made no attempts to do anything remotely intelligent. The Barney saw them wandering around and concluded that they were domesticated animals, like horses, bred to serve the Sesamese. As nonsentient beings, the Barney made no effort to eradicate them; rather, they herded them up and trained them to serve on their ships. From then on the Boohbah traveled with the Barney as beasts of burden, patiently awaiting the day when they would rise up against the Barney and take everything and every planet they had.

VII

Though ridiculed by his fellow scientists, Elmer continued to research and improve the Lightning Rod. He also became friends with Jandro Domingo, a Hispanic entrepreneur. He shared his discoveries with Jandro, including a version of the Lightning Rod that was so powerful it attracted tachyonic bolts even if there were no tachyon storms nearby. Jandro used it to discover yet another planet, which he named Terra Del Dragón. There he found two principle groups living in an apartheid-like society. The "Duendes" were various humanoid species of differing size that made up the powerful minority. The "Dragones" were their abused counterpart, a race of intelligent bipedal reptiles that made up the majority on the planet. Jandro, ever the champion of the underdog, decided he had to do something to help the Dragones.

He started with education. He set up schools and taught them the things he knew best—language, economics, and religion. Spanish became their lingua franca, and they converted to Roman Catholicism in the thousands. He brought over manufacturing techniques from Earth, and they learned to produce everything from chairs to trains. The Dragones soon gained an economic advantage over the Duendes, who grew jealous of their new products. But this was not enough. With their ability to fly, the Duendes overcame the Dragones and beat them back into subjection. So Jandro enlisted the help of Elmer, and together they created a way to give their friends a physical advantage of their own. They first created a large tractor beam and placed it on the moon. Then they surgically implanted "wings" into the back of each Dragón. The wings had no ability to fly, of course—they were barely a foot long. Instead, when a Dragón wiggled the wings, they would release radio signals to the lunar tractor beam, which would then lift the Dragón into the air, giving the appearance of true flight. This ability was all the Dragones needed to fight against the Duendes and ensure their independence.

Jandro continued to visit the Dragones throughout his life. He even had Elmer install his Lightning Rod chamber into a room of his house, and created a portable Lightning Rod in the form of a stone. Jandro, by now a rather whimsical old man, set the key to activate the device to a fantastical poem, and wrote it down as it became harder and harder to remember. Eventually he died a very happy man. His house was sold to another family, and portal to Terra Del Dragón was probably lost forever.

 

VIII

 

Earth was the next target of the Barney expeditionary force. Although the Barney had superior technology, they found humans not entirely defenseless with their nuclear weapons. They would put up a fight in an all-out war, and the Barney treated life as precious and not to be wasted unnecessarily. There own life, that is. And all-out war might spoil billions of humans that would otherwise make a good meal. So they took a more subtle approach to prepare for the advent of the main fleet. They created a show to brainwash children. They knew humans found dinosaurs (which they resembled) frightening, and so based the show around humans getting along well with the Barney. The sang songs about ethnic cleansing, such as "Clean up! Clean up everybody everywhere!" The hope was that when their species finally landed in full force and the Barney descended from their spaceships, the children would shout in delight, run toward them, and the parents would lose heart and give up the fight before it was fought.

 

IX

"Dr. Mbaye, is it? Is that how you pronounce it?" Agent Barnes asked congenially as the scientist entered his office.

"Dr. Powers, actually. I took my wife's name to lessen any prejudice I might receive here," the man said with only the hint of an accent.

"Prejudice? I hope you haven't gotten any of that with us?"

Dr. Powers paused. "No, sir. But most Americans are not used to working with a Senegalese biologist."

"I see. Well, Dr. Powers, what can I do for you?"

Another pause. "It is not easy for me to tell you this, but I need to report suspicious activity conducted by Dr. Radburn."

Agent Barnes's smile faded. He held up a radio. "Johnson, has Nigel Radburn left for the day?"

The man on the other end responded. "Yes, he just left 5 minutes ago."

The FBI agent turned to the man in front of him, content. "Well, we'll just have to ask Nigel about it tomorrow. Anyway, I'm sure it was nothing."

"But, Mr. Barnes—" Dr. Powers started.

Agent Barnes leaned forward and spoke in a low voice. "Look, Doctor, Nigel's been with the Werewolf Project since its inception. Longer than you, I'm sure. Before you go accusing him of anything, I want you to understand. Nigel Radburn has been here for decades. He's practically the face of your department, and he wouldn't have gotten there if he'd shown any hints of treachery. The FBI trusts him. I trust him. And I don't think it would look very good if anyone thought a foreigner from a rather socialist country was trying to sabotage a top-secret government program by incarcerating its top scientist. Do you?"

"I just saw Dr. Radburn slip a vial of Agent Werewolf into his coat sleeve. And I don't think that would look very good, either."

Agent Barnes stared sharply at Dr. Powers, but he picked up the radio again. "Johnson, show me the camera roll of Dr. Radburn starting at... 15 minutes ago. From all angles."

They watched silently. At four minutes into the footage, hidden on most of the cameras but picked up perfectly at one angle, Dr. Radburn could clearly be seen carefully placing a vial of clear liquid into his coat sleeve. Agent Barnes said a word that should not be repeated in retellings of PBS Kids shows, and spoke into the radio.

"Johnson, the Werewolf Project's been compromised. Organize a team and secure Dr. Radburn and a stolen sample of Agent Werewolf immediately."

~ ~ ~

Dr. Radburn walked out his house door and straight into Dr. Powers. "Abe! What a surprise!"

"I hope not too much of a surprise, Nigel! I had a question about the elk DNA I was hoping you could answer, so I thought I'd drop by."

"Of course! I'm sorry, I actually have somewhere to go, so I'm afraid it will have to wait until tomorrow," Dr. Radburn said as he walked past his colleague toward his car. Dr. Powers followed him.

"I saw you take the vial," he said. Dr. Radburn stopped. "I saw it, and I'm sure if I asked the FBI to look at the camera, they would see it too. I don't know what you want with it, but perhaps it was an accident. If you give it to me I will be certain it was simply a mistake."

Dr. Radburn turned and smiled. "I'm sure this is a misunderstanding. I would be happy to look at the cameras tomorrow with you."

Dr. Powers shook his head. "If you don't give me the vial now, I will call Agent Barnes and inform him of our misunderstanding."

Dr. Radburn continued to smile. "Dr. Powers, you are a very smart man. I've watched you work tirelessly. You've contributed more to the project than anyone else, perhaps even myself. And yet how many promotions have you been given? How many raises?" He lowered his voice. "How would you like to work for a government that actually rewards merit? One that doesn't create atrocities like Agent Werewolf to be used at the drop of a hat?"

"And for that you sold us out to the Soviets?" Dr. Powers asked.

At that Dr. Radburn swung around and quickly got in his car. But before he got halfway down the street an FBI car pulled up, blocking the way. He turned around but another one was already there. As the FBI agents got out and aimed their guns at his car, he rolled down his window, now a few yards away from Dr. Powers.

"The Soviets may never use this, Dr. Powers, but neither will you!" he yelled. He pulled out the vial from his coat and held it in the air.

"No. NO!" Dr. Powers yelled, and lunged for the car.

But Dr. Radburn opened it and flung it to the ground. He immediately seized up and started convulsing. Dr. Powers followed suit a moment later. The last words he remembered hearing were, "Quarantine the area NOW!"

~ ~ ~

The United States couldn't condemn the Soviet Union for using a biological weapon without admitting to creating it, so they did nothing. Agent Werewolf had been created to start an epidemic, not a pandemic, so the affected area was only the small Massachusetts town where the research lab was located. It spread, infected everyone it reached in the first day, and then died. The virus targeted the DNA of each cell it encountered, splicing and adding different sets of the DNA it carried. It added all sorts of mammalian DNA: dog, bear, monkey, even aardvark. And then the body went through the process of correcting itself to match its reprogrammed DNA. This was long and dangerous, but thanks to the careful care of the best hospitals, none of the townspeople died. But none of them were ever the same. It was Nixon that signed the order to create a special community for them free from outside abuse. That or a concentration camp to keep them from scaring and embarrassing America, depending on how you saw it. But the government did its best to restore as much normality as possible into Elwood City, even to the point of convincing them that they were normal. They created a form of Agent Werewolf that had only took effect temporarily, and hired celebrities to visit the town transformed in this way. Jimmy Carter didn't like the fact that they were isolated from the rest of the nation, so he hired an author to create books about the victims living normal lives. His hope was that these books would eventually help Americans get used to the idea so that the townspeople could be reintegrated into the community. Eventually these books were adapted into a T.V. series, and thus was Arthur born.

X

"Quetzal, ha sido divertido." The old man smiled wryly as he whispered to the old Dragón. Then he winced as the bipedal triceratops thrust a rod in his back.

"Quiet, aliens!" the soldier yelled. They said nothing, but the Dragón mouthed back, "Sí."

A raptor approached them, and the rod was again thrust in Elmer's back. "Bow to Colonel Jad!" the triceratops commanded.

Both prisoners bent forward and the raptor stopped. "I see Private Nolo has been treating you well." He smiled. His teeth were not a pleasant site. "I trust you have had sufficient time to repair your transportation machine?"

Elmer nodded gravely.

The colonel revealed more teeth. "Good. And I trust you were informed that you and your friend will be traveling in it with us, to ensure it works as intended?"

Another nod. "Excellent. Then we shall be able to welcome the main body of the People of the Flame here a good two years ahead of schedule." He pushed a button. A blank wall suddenly displayed a beautiful orb of blue, green, and white. Elmer drank it in; it was the first he'd seen of Earth in several months. "And for opening the galaxy to the Holy Flame, you shall have the rare privilege of being purified and consumed at the end of your unclean life. Though that may not be far off anyway." He chuckled, then turned to the triceratops. "If all is ready, then let us return to the Home of the Flame."

The Private Nolo pushed a few buttons, and a chamber opened. The two prisoners were pushed into the center, followed by Colonel Jad and half a dozen other Barney.

Nolo stayed at the controls. "The machine is ready. Tachyon reading is sufficient. Starting rod in 3... 2..." Quetzal made a quick, barely perceptible sign of the cross with his hand.

"1..." Elmer closed his eyes and smiled.

Nolo pushed the button, and the room exploded in flames.

~ ~ ~

Rosa fell into the fire and woke up screaming.

She looked around her room. Everything was dark. She closed her eyes and tried to calm down enough to sleep, but it was impossible. It was only March, but she was sweating through the sheets. She took off the quilt on the top of her bed gingerly. It was the only thing she had from Grandma Sesame, and had already torn a couple of times. As she placed the quilt on the floor, she noticed an odd dark shape in the corner of her room. She stepped out of bed and started to walk toward it, trying to figure out what it was. It jumped up and threw something in her face, and everything went dark.

~ ~ ~

Thus begins the journey of Rosa, granddaughter of Elmer and Sesame, as she travels through space and mind to uncover her grandfather's secrets and redeem her planet. She'll enlist the help of mutants, interstellar refugees, and slaves as she fights against alien warlords and criminal masterminds. Thousands of years of conflict have come to a head. Will Rosa be able to save all she holds dear, or will she burn with everyone else?

FIN

-El-ahrairah

Question #85063 posted on 01/06/2016 2:08 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Can you tell me how to get

How to get to Sesame Street?

-Aloysius Snuffleupagus

A:

Dear Snuffy,

There was a time when I knew. 

They called me crazy, spending so much time and energy looking for a place that, to them, was obviously fictional. They tried to dissuade me. They pleaded, begged, and eventually mocked. They tried to show me a documentary that suggested that my friends were nothing more than marionette-puppets controlled by human beings below.

I didn't believe them.

I saved my money and packed my things. I analyzed clues from the various openings, looking for signs to point me in the right direction. Then, one day, without telling anyone else, I booked my ticket to New York City.

The sun was bright and shining when I stepped off of the plane. Earlier on the flight, I'd glimpsed some wispy clouds hanging over the city, but by then the bright sun had swept them all away. I took a cab to where I thought one of the parks might be. The inside of the cab was hot and the driver was sweating profusely, giving the air a sharp, tangy odor. I rolled down my window to get some fresh air. To my surprise, the wind outside carried a certain sweetness, not at all what I was expecting in the middle of New York.

I was getting closer. 

When I arrived at the park, I kept following my clues. At times, I thought I saw a furry hand or foot darting around a corner, but when I ran to look, there was nothing. Getting desperate, I even opened the lids of several trash cans along the street, but all that got me was angry shouts from the tenants. 

I was about to give up hope, but then I turned a corner and saw some sort of light coming from one of the side streets. Cautiously, I moved toward it, and peered around the corner. I was amazed. The buildings looked...nicer. The environment felt safer. Even the trash looked cleaner. 

As I looked, I saw friends and neighbors exiting their apartments and gathering in the middle of the street. After a few minutes, they were joined by a giant yellow bird. I didn't think I could be any more surprised, but then, before my eyes, appeared a shaggy brown wooly mammoth. 

I had found it.

I had gotten myself to Sesame Street.

Eventually, I plucked up the courage to approach the group. I was worried that they wouldn't take kindly to outsiders, but on the contrary, I was welcomed in as if I'd known these people my entire life. And, in some strange way, I felt like I had. I saw a disturbance coming toward me in the crowd, and before I knew it a furry, red monster had jumped into the air and started hugging my chest.

"Elmo loves you, [Frère Rubik]!" he said, cheerfully.

I could feel tears welling up inside. I stammered out:

"But, Elmo, you just barely met me!"

Elmo nodded.

"Yeah, but Elmo loves you anyway."

It was the best feeling on earth.

I don't know how long I spent, living on Sesame Street. They put me up in a spare room above Mr. Hooper's old store; I helped out by sweeping the shop and, occasionally, running the cash register. They didn't make me work too much, though; they knew what I'd come to do, and I spent most of my time playing with the kids and the monsters. I counted things with The Count, settled arguments between Bert and Ernie, binged on cookies with Cookie Monster, and asked Oscar about that one time when he met Johnny Cash (that one almost got me a one-way ticket to Grouchland, but fortunately I stepped back from the trash can just in time).

Throughout my stay, I would see people I recognized, people I'd seen in movies or on TV. Whenever they caught me gaping at them, they'd smile, give me a knowing wink, and then raise a finger to their lips, asking me to keep quiet. Here, they weren't celebrities or famous people; they were just average citizens, friends of all the monsters and kids who called this place home. It was the one place they could be ordinary.

Eventually, though I hated to admit it, it was time for me to leave. I said tearful goodbyes to Telly and Zoe, gave Elmo one last hug, and kicked Oscar's trashcan as I walked out. He didn't even respond; that's how sad it was. When I re-entered regular New York, I found that the weeks I'd spent on the street had only been a couple of days in the rest of the world. Wearily, I got on a plane bound for home, all of the songs and games still ringing in my ears.

If there was one thing I was looking forward to when I came home, it was proving the existence of this magical place to my friends and family. I'd taken pictures, lots of pictures, and I was sure that my evidence would be irrefutable to them. However, their responses were far from what I'd imagined.

"Oh, you visited the Sesame Workshop? That's really cool!" they'd say, after skimming through my photos.

"Sesame Workshop? I don't...no, this is the actual street. Sesame Street," I'd reply, flustered.

They'd give a slightly nervous laugh.

"Yeah, funny, [Frère]. I can totally see the arms of Elmo's puppeteer in that one shot. There's cameras visible in a ton of others."

Frankly, I didn't know what they were talking about. Eventually, I became convinced that the entire thing was more or less like the end of The Polar Express. Everyone around me had stopped believing, but Sesame Street's bell still rang for me.

---

Time passed, and I thought often of returning to Sesame Street. There was always some excuse preventing me, though. I didn't have time. I didn't have money. I couldn't get any time off for classes or work, even when I described my trip as a research project in basic teaching skills. I was too busy trying to set up a date with that girl who supposedly baked in her sleep or something like that.

As time went on, the feeling of needing to go back to Sesame Street grew stronger and stronger. It was harder to ignore. Then, one morning, it changed for the worse. Whereas before I'd wanted to go back just to feel that special happiness again, now the impulse was driven by the feeling that something was wrong. When I couldn't take it anymore, I moved some things around in my schedule and booked a flight back to New York (that date with the baking girl had gone terribly, anyway, though she did make me some nice mudslide cookies). I was jittery and irritable on the flight over; it seemed like the plane couldn't land soon enough. Without waiting for a taxi, I started running toward the street, retracing my steps. The sky was overcast and grey, and the air smelled of car exhaust and street food. I turned the corner, expecting to see the glow I'd witnessed before, but all I saw was more grey. When I arrived at the beginning of the street, I was shocked. All of Sesame Street, buildings, trees, people, monsters and all, had disappeared, leaving nothing but empty lots and chain-link fences. Dumbfounded, I took a step forward, and heard a crunch under my shoes. On the street, in big, shaky letters made of cookie crumbs, was this:

HBO

I ran up and down the street, looking for some other clue or trace of my friends, but it was in vain. Sesame Street was gone, and I had no idea how to find it again.

---

So, dear Snuffy, I must sadly admit that, no, I cannot tell you how to get to Sesame Street. Not anymore, anyway. My hopes for returning are all but gone, but maybe, just maybe, someone else can. 

-Frère Rubik

P.S. This Board answer was brought to you by the letters F and R, and by the number 17.

Question #85016 posted on 01/03/2016 4:40 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Let's assume that all other animals suddenly develop intelligence enough to realize that environmental change is a real problem that threatens every species on the planet. The only way to stop it is to wipe humanity off the face of the earth. Therefore, they form the UAA (United Animal Alliance) to destroy all humans. Then, they bring a full-on attack with the goal of destroying every last human.

Please describe how the major battles would go. What territories would be taken first? What would be the major bastions of defense for both sides? Is is even a fair fight? Who eventually prevails? Do you have any advise for the animals? ;)

-Pig

A:

Dear Pig,

Larry slammed his apartment door and ran to the elevator, late as usual. Mornings had never been his strong suit, and his dead-end job didn't give him much motivation for waking up early. A country boy at heart, he was a product of small-town suburbia, and felt lost and alone in Manhattan; he had moved here for his girlfriend, but shortly after the move she had broken up with him. Considering the situation, he didn't seem to have very good reasons for staying in New York, yet for some reason, here he was, ten months after the break-up. 

Larry got to his car, a beat-up Buick parked crookedly in a narrow parking spot, and inwardly groaned. The windshield was covered in pigeon poop. If he didn't know better, he'd almost think the pigeons were waging war on him. Haha. He pulled out of the space, and then had to swerve dangerously, nearly hitting a stop sign in the process, to avoid running over his elderly neighbor's cat, which had mysteriously run right in front of his car. "Cats," he muttered to himself, "Next thing you know that malicious thing is going to cause a car accident." The cat incident set the tone for Larry's drive to work that day. Usually the drive was uneventful, like the rest of his life, but today there seemed to be more pandemonium than usual on the streets. A single-minded man, however, Larry plowed on ahead. If he was late one more time to work his boss had threatened to suspend him, and he couldn't waste time figuring out why crowds of people were flocking to the streets. 

Later that day, as they were wasting time around the water cooler, Larry's coworker Lucy announced, "My neighbor's roof fell in this morning!" As she was known for her dramatic flair, Larry was skeptical of this outrageous claim, and opened his mouth to make some sarcastic remark. However, he was cut short by Joseph, a very serious man, and one of the senior employees of the company. Joseph informed them all that New York seemed to have been invaded by particularly aggressive termites the night before, and walls and roofs were collapsing all through the city, gnawed through by the insects. It was odd, they remarked, that so much damage could be done in such a short period of time. But at least it explained why this morning people had been running from their apartments into the streets and pointing wildly at buildings, the walls of which were apparently crawling with termites. Trying to make light of the situation, Larry joked,"Well it could be worse, they could be cockroaches," and was quite dismayed when Joseph said that termites and cockroaches are actually related. "Thanks a lot, Larry," berated Lucy. "Now this whole situation is even more disgusting than it was before. Our city is infested with wall-eating roaches." It was pretty gross, he had to admit. But the good news was things couldn't get much worse than living a city filled with termites, and if you've hit rock bottom the only way to go is up, right?

Although his reasoning almost made sense, Larry was wrong. Over the course of the next few weeks, things got much, much worse. In some places there were so many gnats in the air that it was almost impossible to breathe. Bees suddenly turned kamikaze, chasing and attacking people. The bus system shut down one day when all the bus drivers awoke to find the windshields of their vehicles completely covered in pigeon poop, leaving no room for them to see through. Some drivers reported that when they went to clean it off, pigeons started darting from the sky, pecking their hands and faces. A colony of rats moved into Larry's apartment and gnawed through all the electrical wires. With no access to TV, he gathered from his coworkers that the same thing was happening all over the state. After rats ate through wires and completely ruined the electrical systems of the stock market, the governor of New York officially announced a state of emergency.

Everyone was baffled by the sudden vehemence with which animals seemed to be attacking, and came up with theories to explain it. Scientists speculated that a poisonous spore had infected the water supply, and that was causing the strange behavior of all the animals. Doomsday announcers enthusiastically took to the streets, wending their way through what could only be described as herds of insects to wave their signs and call people to repentance. Larry's neighbor Rob, an overweight, balding man who seemed to have no job other than looking up conspiracy theories on the internet, claimed that the animals were waging war on humans so they could take over the earth and fix the environment. For the first time in his life, Larry had to concede that Rob's idea actually made some sense. The natural world was apparently going crazy, so maybe a crazy theory was just the thing to explain it.

Ten years later, the man once named Larry surveyed the desolate landscape that was once called New York City. He reflected on the dramatic changes he had witnessed in recent years. After New York's infrastructure collapsed and communication systems were wiped out, he had fled to the country with Rob. They soon realized that the situation was dire there, as well. A few other refugees advised them not to venture into any forests, because there was no telling what the animals there would do. Eventually they stumbled across a farm which seemed to be ruled by a despotic pig named Napoleon, and, desperate for food, sought aid there. The pig at least seemed intelligent, and they hoped it would take pity on them. They were lucky and it did, but only under one condition: that they help run reconnaissance missions to scout out pockets of human resistance. Larry found the idea of ratting out his fellow humans (maybe quite literally ratting them out) to be morally repugnant, and declined the invitation after thinking about it over a sumptuous dinner. Rob, on the other hand, shocked Larry by saying yes. This turned out to work in Larry's favor, because Rob convinced Napoleon to let Larry go, and even send him with some provisions, saying, "Don't worry about him, he's a loser anyways, he couldn't mess up your plans even if he tried." Slightly offended by this remark, Larry still found the irony in being called a loser by Rob, who, prior to the animal attack, spent his days surfing the internet in his boxers and eating potato chips.

After leaving the farm, Larry wandered the countryside, escaping notice simply because he seemed too insignificant and harmless to really affect the attack. Eventually he joined a wolf pack who took pity on him, and spent the next few years roaming the country with them. He learned from the wolves that the animals had come together in the United Animal Alliance to wipe out humanity and save the earth. He had to hand it to the animals, they were actually quite organized; before waging full-out war on humans they wiped out important networks of communication and infrastructure, effectively isolating communities and disintegrating the human's organization. Larry saw the gradual destruction of humanity being carried out on a worldwide scale. Sometimes he remembered his days working in an office building and wearing nice suits (OK, more like cheap suits, but did it really matter?), and it seemed a world away from his present experience. Yet he was grateful to the wolves, because they had saved him from certain death. Maybe one day he would live to start another city, named after himself, and people would share the legend of their great founder who was saved by wolves.

***

Animals definitely would have the advantage in this battle. They have the element of surprise going for them, and that would take them a long way. And if they're intelligent enough to organize themselves into an alliance, I'm assuming they're intelligent enough to strategize, which basically nullifies the human's advantage of superior intelligence. Humans have technology, but it honestly probably wouldn't be that hard for animals to destroy it. Animals are also much better at surviving in the wild than humans, so all they have to do is make our cities uninhabitable. 

There are about 7.3 billion people in the world. Meanwhile, a rough estimate of how many insects there are gives us about ten quintillion, which so completely dwarfs seven billion that my mind can't even comprehend it. So if you ever want to have a nightmare, just imagine if insects all actually joined forces against humans. Horrifying, right?

-Alta

Question #84799 posted on 01/08/2016 12:51 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I just read a comment on a New York Times article (this article, comment by "Gfagan," if anyone's curious) that argued that states run by Republican governments are noticeably worse off than states run by Democratic governments. Now, liberal as I may be, I'm rather skeptical of this claim.

I'm also lazy, which is where you come in.

Would you please design a methodology* to determine the general well-being of each state, and then apply that methodology to determine whether there is any correlation between state well-being and the state's party** of governance?

I realize that there's very little chance of finding proof of causation even if correlation is present, so don't worry about that unless you think you can find empirical evidence to put forward. I'd just like to know whether "Gfagan's" argument has any potential basis in fact.

Thank you!

-the one and only lazefulness

*Preferably based on a cross-section of relevant factors.

**I'm less interested in whether the state's governor currently has an R or D next to their name, and more interested in whether the state has consistently been governed by a single party's policies for an extended period of time. I suppose states with mixed governments (ie R legislature and D governor) or with a history of both parties controlling the government could constitute a third category.

A:

Dear funfulness,

Basically this is a really great question that I was excited to answer. In theory, I was going to do all sorts of cool multivariate regressions with tons of control variables so that I could give you a yes or no response with a high degree of confidence. In practice, however, my analysis didn't turn out as thorough as I'd envisioned, partly because (a) finals and (b) the double edged sword of Christmas Break, that peculiar period when I have ALL THE FREE TIME and still manage to get NOTHING DONE. While my results are suggestive, you'd have to put some more thought and work into this project to make sure they're consistent and reliable. 

Deciding what constitutes "well-being" can be a bit controversial and arbitrary. For example, does a higher level of debt mean that a state economy is imperiled or simply that money is flowing at a different rate? Does a lower birthrate mean that the state is in danger of a population implosion or that it's helping to improve the environment? The results will be a little bit circular because how people answer these questions in some measure determines how they vote. When most citizens of a state think that a high birthrate is good, for example, that state is likely to elect the party it sees as most friendly to large, traditional families. So while I've listed a handful of factors below, they are in no way the Alpha and Omega of defining state well-being. I've divided these indicators into three categories (political, social, and economic), explained each one below, and justified why I include it as a positive or negative factor.

Political

Integrity—The Center for Public Integrity has put together an index that gives each state a score from 1 (no integrity) to 100 (perfect integrity). The indicators it uses to determine that score fall into twelve categories, including public access to information, political financing, electoral oversight, accountability, budget processes, civil service management, procurement, internal auditing, lobbying disclosure, and ethics enforcement. The organization maintains that this is not a measure of corruption, although they could've fooled me—it looks at many of the elements that constitute corruption and is probably intimately connected. I include this measure because I think a state's political integrity is an important component of its well-being. 

Democracy—This figure, which comes from the Center for American Progress Action Fund, is a measure of state' representativeness (how well the government reflects the wishes and opinions of its constituents) and accessibility (how easy it is for the average voter to participate in the political system). It basically indicates whether democracy in the state is working as intended. The organization gave letter grades from A to F in each of three categories, which I converted into numbers and then added up so that each state gets a score between 3 (democratic fail) and 36 (shining paragon of democracy). 

Social

Education—I think this is one of the less controversial measures, as most people can agree that higher levels of education are a good thing. There are different ways you could operationalize this—like the number of adults with college degrees or the standardized test scores for elementary school students—but since it was the easiest data to find, I've gone with the percentage of students who graduate from high school within four years, courtesy of the US Department of Education

Health—Again, physical health is a fairly undisputed indicator of overall well-being, but actually measuring it is a bit more complicated. I've gone with a composite index from the United Health Foundation, which gives each state a score based on smoking, immunizations, infant mortality, cancer deaths, drug use, air pollution, and other important indicators. The index ranges from a score of -1 (poor health) to 1 (good health). 

Unemployment—Another fairly obvious measure, although you may question why I include it as a social indicator rather than an economic one. It has to do with how political policy deals with unemployment; it usually implements social legislation, rather than economic legislation, to reduce it. As I'm sure you can guess, low unemployment is considered a good thing. The data for this comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Birthrate—Including "birthrate" as a measure of social well-being is, I admit, controversial. It's popular these days to frown upon high birthrates because they drive up the earth's human population and therefore the environmental impact of human activity. I do not dispute that this is the case, and in fact I am legitimately worried about the terrible amounts of waste and pollution we produce in using up our planet's natural resources. There is, however, a flip side to that coin. Plummeting birthrates sound attractive for environmental reasons, but especially as life expectancy increases, they tip the balance of the social economy: suddenly you have lots of elderly people who depend on social security to sustain themselves, but social security is itself maintained on an ever-shrinking population of workers. Some countries in Europe, for example, have birthrates as low as 1.4, and they are having to face the very real challenges of dying cities, growing health costs, and a dwindling population. Experts reckon that a birthrate of 2.1 children per woman (which is, thankfully, America's average) is necessary to maintain a population that can support itself economically. 

There is another reason that I'm choosing to include high birthrate as a positive indicator of state well-being. Presumably, people who (a) feel secure in their future, (b) feel safe in the place they live, and (c) feel that their communities provide ample support for children and their parents are more likely to have kids. Birthrate therefore acts as a proxy measure for how much people like living in the state. I realize that there are more valid proxies, of course, but under the circumstances this is the best I could do. I pulled the information from the National Vital Statistics Report.

Economic
GSPpc—"Do you mean GDPpc?" I hear you ask. No, I actually mean GSPpc—gross state product, as opposed to gross domestic product. Yes, it's a real thing, as reported by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. I used the figures from 2012 because I couldn't find any that were more recent. Basically, "gross state product per capita" refers to the state's total economic output divided by the number of people residing in that state. It is intended to measure average wealth: the wealthier the people in the state, the better off the state as a whole. Of course, we all know that the equation money = happiness is at best incomplete, but we'll let it slide for the purpose of this exercise.

Debt—"Can states even go into debt?" you may be wondering. Indeed they can. Again, some people don't feel that sovereign or state debt is as much of a problem as others make it out to be; they see it as simply a sign of a healthy and flowing economy. However, I think the consensus of the majority is that it's good for states to not be running a deficit. So I'm using debt as a negative measure. I got my data from an organization called State Budget Solutions, which seems pretty reputable, but instead of using the gross sum as listed on that page, I divided each figure by the number of people in that state—because of course California is going to have more debt than Wyoming, but that's because California has the world's eighth largest economy. So the measure we end up with is actually "state debt per capita," which hopefully gives us a more accurate picture.

Trade—Unless you're a protectionist (don't worry, I won't judge)(okay, actually I will judge), trade is generally considered an indicator of a state's self-sufficiency, natural resources, and economic viability. There are many ways of measuring it, but I've gone with the International Trade Administration's data on the value of state exports per capita. 

Liberal or Conservative?

Instead of simply labeling each state Republican, Democratic, or swing, I've come up with a more precise variable for measuring party loyalty. Some nice person compiled the information represented in this Wikipedia map, placing the exact numbers for each state in the caption below. The number represents the average margin of victory over the last several presidential elections—in other words, what percentage Democrats or Republicans win by in each state, on average. To make it a single, composite measure, I've put it on a scale from negative to positive, where negative numbers represent Democratic victories and positive numbers represent Republican victories. Therefore, democratic strongholds cluster on the negative end, Republican strongholds on the positive end, and swing states around zero. 

Methods

Because I wasn't on campus to use campus computers' advanced statistics software, I just went ahead and ran my regressions in Excel. I'm not as familiar with the Excel data analysis tools, however, so if I've made any mistakes in interpreting the results, I'm happy to be corrected. Basically, I just regressed each dependent variable (integrity, democracy, education, health, unemployment, birthrate, GSPpc, debt, and trade) on the independent variable, party, and looked at the p-value, coefficient, and R-squared of each to determine whether there was a significant relationship. If you're interested in seeing the data set or looking at my regression results, here is the Excel document I used to calculate it all. 

Results

The correlations between party and four dependent variables (integrity, unemployment, GSPpc, and trade) came out statistically insignificant. This means that we cannot be reasonably certain that there is any relationship between party and any of those indicators, at least not as I've chosen to measure them. Education came out with a p-value of 0.00 and a coefficient of 0.00—in other words, we can be sure that there is no relationship between them. (Admittedly, I had to remove Idaho, Oklahoma, and Montanathree moderately or very Republican states—from the regression because they did not provide data on high school graduation rates.) 

The variables that did show up as significant are democracy, health, birthrate, and debt. Here's how party affects each of those factors:

Republican states are insignificantly less democratic. For every additional percent of the vote the Republicans win, on average, democracy drops by 0.147. That score is on a scale of 3 to 36, which means that a very Republican state like Utah (with an average R. margin of a staggering 30.8%) is predicted to score about 8% more democratic (representative and accessible) than a moderately Republican state like Montana (with an average R. margin of 9.7%). This is actually not too surprising—Democrats in general are more likely to support easier access to the polls. The correlation, however, is pretty weak, since the very most Republican state (Utah, unsurprisingly) would only be expected to score 8.3 points less than the very most Democratic state (Massachusetts, unsurprisingly). Nor is it a very strong predictor: a correlation technically exists, but many states don't behave as that correlation would lead you to expect. For example, while the equation predicts that Utah will score 8.3 below Massachusetts, in reality Utah scores one above it, 18 to 17. The conclusion? Meh. Maybe Republican-run governments are slightly less democratic than Democratic-run governments, but the margin is nearly insignificant. 

Republican states are significantly less healthy. For every additional percent of the vote the Republicans win, on average, health drops by 0.012. Keeping with our previous examples, we would expect Utah to score 0.24 points lower than Montana and 0.68 lower than Massachusetts. That seems absolutely miniscule, but remember that the scale only goes from -1 to 1, so 0.68 is actually quite significant. Once again, party is only a weak predictor, explaining about 10% of the variation in the quality of health in any given state. There are lots of uncontrolled-for variables that ought to be taken into account. That aside, though, it does appear that Democratic-run states tend to be moderately healthier than Republican-run states.

I'd like to point out that Utah actually completely bucks this trend; even though it's the most conservative state in the nation, it comes in 8th out of 50 for quality of health. Well done, Utah!

Republican states have significantly higher birthratesFor every additional percent of the vote the Republicans win, on average, the birthrate rises by 0.009, meaning that Utah should have a birthrate about 0.18 higher than Montana and 0.51 higher than Massachusetts. That's not too far off from the actual truth: although Utah is something of an outlier, it scores 0.37 higher than Montana and 0.74 higher than Massachusetts. Party is actually a very strong predictor of birthrate, although (as I explained earlier) this relationship obviously has some circularity since the Republican Party is perceived as more friendly to large families. 

Republican states have significantly less debt. For every additional percent of the vote the Republicans win, on average, debt drops by $141.45 per person. According to that number, then, Utah should have $2,829 less debt per capita than Montana and $8,034 less than Massachusetts. The relationship isn't super strong—again, a lot of states don't behave as it would predict—but it is pretty significant, considering that the range (the difference between the state with the most debt and the state with the least) is on the order of $34,000 per capita. 

Conclusion

The results are mixed. Party affiliation only affects four of the nine indicators of well-being I selected, and even then it's split evenly down the middle: Republican states fare worse in the first two categories and better in the latter two. I haven't made any effort to combine all these indicators into a single composite score that measures "state well-being" as a whole, so I'll leave it to you to decide which categories are the most important. If you're more concerned about democracy and health, then maybe your commenter Gfagan was correct—Democratic states really are better run than Republican states. If birthrates and debt are more important to you, then maybe he's wrong. 

I should also mention that I haven't controlled for any additional variables. Party affiliation is only one of many, many things that affect such indicators, so since I'm lacking control variables, my results may be totally off. I may have claimed that relationships exist when they really don't or that they don't exist when they really do. A more rigorous study would take stuff like that into account, but I ran out of time to do so. Again, the variables I chose and the way I operationalized ones like "education" and "health" are kind of arbitrary, and the results may change if you were to use different indexes or different indicators for "state well-being." To yayfulness and others who are sufficiently interested (or sufficiently bored, I guess) to have read this far, I'd welcome emails that question my methodology or suggest improvements, because there may be other factors that I've totally overlooked.

My interpretation of the results? I'm pretty liberal myself, but I don't think you can in any way say that Democratic states are "obviously" better-run than Republican states. It's too nuanced of an issue—sweeping, blanket statements like that ignore all the problems of measurement, operationalization, and bias that make this such a hard question to answer. I think a much more fruitful line of inquiry would be to examine specific policies to determine whether they've been effective and then align your vote with the party or candidate that supports the best ones. 

Wishing I could have turned this in as my capstone paper, &c.

Heidi Book

Question #84497 posted on 11/15/2015 9:24 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

One of my professors introduced us to Anglican Chant and recently I heard a rousing rendition of Press Forward, Saints. These both led me to wonder what other passages of scripture would make particularly good hymns, but I was drawing a blank (probably because my mind was filled with Anglican Chant).

What passage(s) of scripture would you like to see turned into a hymn? Do you have a particular tune in mind?

-Psalmist

A:

Dear Doctor,

Once I actually started, I wrote a new sacrament hymn in less than 100 hours. Less than 12, actually.

I took the words from D&C 18:10-11 and 19:16-19, to create these lyrics:

The worth of our souls is great in God's sight;
For, the Lord suffered death and pain.
He suffered all things that all men might
Repent and come unto their God again.

For they might not suffer if they repent;
Else they must suffer even as He,
Whose body and spirit had both been spent,
Who trembled in pain, whose pores did bleed.

The suffering caused God, the greatest of all,
Plead not to drink the bitter cup,
And from bearing shrink, the curse of the Fall.
But nevertheless, He gave Himself up.

Here's the sheet music, and here's a rough approximation of what it'd sound like.

And for bonus points: a little while ago I took "School Thy Feelings" and redid the music because I didn't like the original melody. Here's the sheet music for that, and the midi of what it sounds like. Let me know if you want a SATB choral arrangement (with piano accompaniment) because I also have that.

-Tally M.

Question #84486 posted on 11/08/2015 4:17 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Based purely on their visual and musical elements (and not necessarily by box-office or Academy recognition), what are the best films for each year from 1900-2000?

-I'm Buff. Film Buff.

A:

Dear Buff,

This would be a wonderful question to answer thoroughly if I had nothing to do for the next few years or so. Unfortunately, I'm limited in time and experience, so don't get too excited.

This is based on personal opinion, of the films I've seen, and on the internet's opinion, for years in which I haven't seen any films. Also, because of your musical specification, Disney and musicals are heavily featured. If you don't find cartoons visually compelling, you'll probably be disappointed. Don't expect this list to be authoritative, because I haven't seen many of the most popular films, as they tend to be rated R, so a lot of this is just films that I have found particularly excellent. The silent film period was harder, because often they lack permanent music, and I haven't seen most of them.

  • 1900: Soldiers of the Cross
  • 1901: Forward
  • 1902: Snow White
  • 1903: The Three Musketeers
  • 1904: The Bengali Fisherman
  • 1905: La course aux tonneaux
  • 1906: The Story of the Kelly Gang
  • 1907: Tom Sawyer
  • 1908: The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays
  • 1909: The Life of Moses
  • 1910: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • 1911: Dante's Inferno
  • 1912: With the Enemy's Help
  • 1913: The Last Days of Pompeii
  • 1914: The Million Dollar Mystery
  • 1915: The Birth of a Nation
  • 1916: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  • 1917: A Man There Was
  • 1918: Tarzan of the Apes
  • 1919: Male and Female
  • 1920: The Mark of Zorro
  • 1921: The Kid, The Sheik
  • 1922: Nosferatu
  • 1923: Safety Last!
  • 1924: The Sea Hawk
  • 1925: The Gold Rush, Battleship Potemkin
  • 1926: The General
  • 1927: The Jazz Singer
  • 1928: The Passion of Joan of Arc
  • 1929: In Old Arizona, The Broadway Melody
  • 1930: All Quiet on the Western Front, Puttin' on the Ritz
  • 1931: City Lights, The Public Enemy
  • 1932: Grand Hotel
  • 1933: King Kong
  • 1934: It Happened One Night
  • 1935: A Night at the Opera
  • 1936: Modern Times
  • 1937: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
  • 1938: You Can't Take it With You
  • 1939: Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz
  • 1940: Rebecca, The Grapes of Wrath, Fantasia
  • 1941: Citizen Kane, The Maltese Falcon, Dumbo
  • 1942: Casablanca, Bambi
  • 1943: For Whom the Bell Tolls
  • 1944: Double Indemnity, Arsenic and Old Lace
  • 1945: The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • 1946: It's a Wonderful Life, Make Mine Music, Blue Skies
  • 1947: Miracle on 34th Street
  • 1948: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, So Dear to my Heart
  • 1949: All the King's Men
  • 1950: Cinderella, Annie Get Your Gun
  • 1951: A Streetcar Named Desire, Strangers on a Train
  • 1952: Singin' in the Rain
  • 1953: Roman Holiday
  • 1954: On the Waterfront, Sabrina, The Student Prince
  • 1955: Rebel Without a Cause, East of Eden, Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma
  • 1956: The King and I, Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  • 1957: 12 Angry Men, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Sayonara
  • 1958: Vertigo, Touch of Evil, South Pacific
  • 1959: Some Like it Hot, North by Northwest, Ben-Hur, Sleeping Beauty, Black Orpheus
  • 1960: Psycho, Swiss Family Robinson
  • 1961: West Side Story
  • 1962: Lawrence of Arabia, The Man who Shot Liberty Valance, The Music Man
  • 1963: The Birds, Cleopatra, Charade, Bye Bye Birdie
  • 1964: Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
  • 1965: The Sound of Music
  • 1966: A Man for All Seasons
  • 1967: The Graduate, The Jungle Book, Bonnie and Clyde, Wait Until Dark
  • 1968: 2001: A Space Odyssey, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Oliver!
  • 1969: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Hello Dolly, Oh! What a Lovely War
  • 1970: Patton
  • 1971: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Fiddler on the Roof, Bedknobs and Broomsticks
  • 1972: The Godfather, 1776
  • 1973: The Sting
  • 1974: The Godfather Part II
  • 1975: Jaws, The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • 1976: Rocky
  • 1977: Star Wars
  • 1978: Grease
  • 1979: Apocalypse Now
  • 1980: The Empire Strikes Back
  • 1981: Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • 1982: Gandhi
  • 1983: Return of the Jedi
  • 1984: Amadeus
  • 1985: Back to the Future, The Breakfast Club, A Room with a View
  • 1986: Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Star Trek IV
  • 1987: The Princess Bride, Dirty Dancing
  • 1988: Rain Man
  • 1989: Dead Poets Society, The Little Mermaid, Henry V
  • 1990: Edward Scissorhands, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
  • 1991: Beauty and the Beast
  • 1992: Newsies, Strictly Ballroom
  • 1993: Schindler's List
  • 1994: The Lion King
  • 1995: Toy Story, Pocahontas
  • 1996: Romeo+Juliet
  • 1997: Titanic
  • 1998: The Truman Show
  • 1999: Tarzan
  • 2000: O Brother Where Art Thou

Love,

Luciana

Question #84485 posted on 11/08/2015 4:08 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So, I understand that you have been asked the tootsie pop question many times and that there is a FAQ for this question, but I was looking through the answers and they are all different. You have answered as low as an avg of 74 licks, as high as 974, and almost everything in between.

Because of the true lack of consensus concerning this rather dire question I would like to suggest a board ran experiment at your next board meeting, or whenever you can get the most of you together, where you try to objectively answer the question through MASS experimentation. I would try to answer the question myself, but do not have the man, or tongue, power to do so. The more tootsie roll pops you consume the better and if you need participants and/or funding email me at [email has been removed] and I may be able to help you.

So, once and for all, how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop?

-Joe the hobo

A:

Dear Doctor,

We're on the internet, so you can trust us. Setting up a party wasn't tons of fuss. We got some suckers and watched The Lego Movie. All in all, it was rather groovy. We got some data, a good amount: an average of 298 was the final count. Auto Surf had the most, Vienna had the least: the rest were in the middle of our Tootsie-Pop feast. 

(Side is licking from the ridged edge, Center is licking from the shortest edge of the sucker, and Top is...well, licking from the top.)

Writer Stats:

  Average # of Licks # of Data Points
Zedability 356.5 10
Mr. Z 263 5
Tally M. 197.2 10
Auto Surf 365.25 4
Vienna 149 1
Ardilla Feroz 348.25 4
M.O.D.A.Q. 277 2
Frere Rubik 302 2

General Stats:

  Average # of Licks # of Data Points
Center 300.26 18
Side 248.62 12
Top 346 5
Total Average 298.29 35


Center:

 Center BoxPlot.png

Sample size: 18
Median: 276
Minimum: 149
Maximum: 742
First quartile: 217
Third quartile: 347
Interquartile Range: 130
Outlier: 742

Side:

Side BoxPlot.png

Sample size: 12
Median: 223.5
Minimum: 117
Maximum: 490
First quartile: 199.25
Third quartile: 310.25
Interquartile Range: 111
Outlier: 490

Top:

Top BoxPlot.png

Sample size: 5
Median: 202
Minimum: 179
Maximum: 671
First quartile: 179.5
Third quartile: 518.5
Interquartile Range: 339
Outliers: none

We licked a lot of suckers a lot of times, and all this is true because it rhymes.

-Tally M.

Question #84454 posted on 11/06/2015 1:56 p.m.
Q:

Cher 100 Hour Board,

I am on a mission. My mission is to be the best smelling man alive, pre-eau de Cologne. I would like to extend to you a mission. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to tell me what you consider to be the best-smelling 1) men's deodorant, 2) men's shampoo, and 3) men's body wash out there. (Bonus points if they smell good together). I would also appreciate any advice on how to get the arôme agréable to stay around all day.

I hope to hear from une pléthore of Board writers, both male and female!

- M. le Nauséabond

A:

Dear Doctor,

My head now hurts from smelling so many things.

We (Vienna and I) went to Wal-mart, since Bath and Body Works was closed by the time we had a chance to go. First, some general conclusions: don't buy Suave, Dove, or basically any brand that also makes things for girls. They either smell too girly or like soap. If you want to smell like a man, you have to go name brand. Also, despite the reputation that Axe has, it smells really good.

So, here are the tallies, ranked in order of preference by type, our suggestions in bold. (I'm the first number, Vienna's the second, and the average is the third.)

Body Wash

Old Spice Swagger 3 4 3.5
  Fiji 3 3 3
  Pure Sport 3 3 3
  Lionpride 3 2 2.5
  Afterhours 2 2 2
Dove Clean Comfort 2 2 2
  Aqua 2 2 2
  Hydration 1 2 1.5
Axe Anarchy 4 4 4
  Phoenix 3 4 3.5
  Gold Temptation 3 3 3
  Dark Temptation 3 3 3
  Black Chill 1 2 1.5
  Forest 1 2 1.5
Irish Spring Gear 1 1 1
Dial Magnetic 1 1 1
Suave Sport Recharge 1 1 1

Thoughts: I was surprised how much I liked Axe. Vienna actually said regarding Anarchy, "If a guy smells like that, I literally will like him more." Dove is a super girly smelling brand. Irish Spring smells like my grandparents. Dial smells like soap. Suave smells girly as well.

Deodorant

Old Spice Lionpride 4 4 4
  Fiji 3 3 3
  Bearglove 2 3 2.5
  Timber 3 2 2.5
  Swagger 2 3 2.5
  Denali 3 2 2.5
  Wolfthorn 2 2 2
  Aquareef 2 2 2
  Citron 2 2 2
  Hawkridge 1 2 1.5
  Fresh 1 2 1.5
  Afterhours 1 1 1
  Amber 1 1 1
  Champion 1 1 1
  Pure Sport 1 1 1
  Classic 1 1 1
Axe Essence 3 4 3.5
  Anarchy 3 3 3
  Night 3 3 3
  Apollo 2 3 2.5
  Excite 2 2 2
  Below Zero 1 2 1.5
  Harmony 1 2 1.5
  Dark Temptation 1 2 1.5
  Peace 1 1 1
  Forest 1 1 1
  Island 1 1 1
Speed Stick Regular 2 1 1.5
  Musk 2 1 1.5
  Ocean Surf 1 1 1
  Irish Spring 1 0 0.5

Thoughts: The weirdest part of this was smelling a deodorant and recognizing it as an ex-boyfriend's. Axe Forest smells like an actual forest, and not in a good way. Vienna thinks the unscented Speed Stick is still better than the Irish Spring scent. Basically, most classic scents smell like our fathers/grandfathers.

Shampoo

Old Spice Polar 4 4 4
  Pure Sport 3 3 3
  Bulk Up 2 3 2.5
  Wolfthorn 2 2 2
  Fiji 2 2 2
Axe Night 4 4 4
  Apollo 3 3 3
  Phoenix 3 3 3
  Dark Temptation 2 3 2.5
  Peace 2 2 2
  Original 1 2 1.5
  Forest 1 1 1

Thoughts: We lost all sense of smell by this point. Still, go with Old Spice or Axe if you want manly smelling shampoo. 

Whether or not our top choices smell good together is yet to be determined. We were kind of worn out by the end of this.

-Tally M.

Question #84399 posted on 01/13/2016 11:01 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Marco Rubio repeated in the debate last night the line that this could be the first American generation that "leaves its children worse off than we were."

With the various financial panics of the late 1800s, two major world wars, and a Depression, I don't buy it. What are other American generations which were worse off than their parents?

---Portia

A:

Dear Portia,

I agree with you. This will certainly not be the first American generation in which the children are worse off than the parents. The statement is far too broad to be true. I look back on the history of this country and I can assure you that almost every generation in the last two hundred years was "better-off" because they had better technology. I would also say that in no way were the generations of African-Americans better off in the 1830s than they were in 1800, and I guarantee that for the Japanese-Americans were significantly worse-off than their parents in the 1940s. This statement ignores minorities and differing definitions of what is "better" and it comes across as extraordinarily arrogant and presumptuous. The people of today are absolutely not worse off than previous generations in any broad over-arching sense. 

Let me tell you about each generation of America, Mr. Rubio, and how they were better and worse off than those before them. In order to do this in an orderly manner, I am going to define a generation as a 25 year time-span, and I will only consider each generation when they were between the ages of 15 and 40. The first generation of the USA would have been born between 1761 and 1785. The following is a list of the generations of America following this matrix:

Birth Years

Generation

Generation Name

1761

1785

1776-1800

Revolutionaries

1786

1810

1801-1825

Industrializers

1811

1835

1826-1850

Antebellum

1836

1860

1851-1875

Civil Warriors

1861

1885

1876-1900

Gilded Agers

1886

1910

1901-1925

Progressives

1911

1935

1926-1950

Golden Generation

1936

1960

1951-1975

Baby Boomers

1961

1985

1976-2000

Generation X

Also, as I do this analysis, please excuse any failures on my part to include major developments in each time period. I tried to get the majority of them, but I am sure I missed some. 

First let us consider the very first American Generation, those who were born between 1761 and 1785, the Revolutionary Generation. This generation we will of course look at as a basis for comparison for future generations. This was the generation that participated in the Revolutionary War. It is not the generation of Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, or George Washington, but is instead the generation that voted them into office, and fought in the rank and file of the war. These people are not only watching the afterbirth of a nation, but they are participating in it. 

This generation lived through social unrest, an eight-year war, severe inflation, arguably two regime changes, economic growth, and political turmoil. Approximately 8,000 American people died in combat in the Revolutionary War, and 25,000 were wounded. This war was hotly contested among the American people, as only one-third of the population actually wanted freedom from the British. This civil and social divide cause significant social unrest among the people throughout the war, and after the war it led to significant disputes among leaders in the budding nation. While the immediate legacy of the war was not positive, the Revolutionary Generation eventually built a stable nation with a strong political framework in the Constitution. Furthermore, this generation ensured the principles of the Constitution successfully switching executives in 1796 and again in 1800.

Immediately following the American Revolution, the newly formed nation experienced a severe economic crisis in the 1780s. The war disrupted the economy, and the British Navy attacked American ships, crippling the flow of trade. The British tariff system stymied American trade to the British Isles, which in turn harmed production and wealth. Furthermore, the tax system was a mess within America. The failed tax system made it impossible for the government to run in any productive manner, and it also made it impossible to pay veterans of the revolution. This led to Shay's Rebellion, and other general political and social unrest during the 1780s. 

The latter half of this generation experienced a great deal of improvement as the economy grew and expanded. This was in part made possible by the invention of the cotton gin and in part by the creation of the First Bank of the United States in 1791. The cotton gin greatly affected the textile industry and led to significant expansion of cotton farming in the South, and textile production in the North. The First Bank of the United States established the US Mint, and expanded the fiscal and monetary powers of the federal government. This stabilized the financial order and the nation's credit at home and abroad. Between these two developments in the economy improved trade, and increased production, consumption, and GDP. 

In hard numbers, the Revolutionary Generation experienced eight years of war, 10 years of economic recession, 17-21 years of political turmoil and war, with at least 9 years of that being consecutive. Industry was halted at this point, and so there was little industrial or technological growth of the this period. By the end though, they were a stable and free nation. The Revolutionary Generation left its children with a budding economy; a stable, free government; an expanding frontier. Given the legacy of this generation, I feel that the Revolutionary Generation left a positive legacy for the generation of its children, the industrializers. 

The Industrializers were in their prime between 1801 and 1825. These individuals were born following the America Revolution, and they completely missed most of the turmoil of the Revolutionary Generation, and benefited from their legacy of the Revolutionary. The First Bank of the US expired in 1811, and was renewed the following year. Under the umbrella of a strong fiscal system, production increased throughout the country, and there was general economic growth throughout this time period. However, the Industrializers ran into the problem of tariffs and other trade barriers with Great Britain. These trade barriers stunted the growth of trade during this time.

The growth of trade was further stunted by the War of 1812. This war lasted for 2 years, 8 months, and can in part be blamed by the less-than spectacular relations between Britain and America, created by the Revolutionary generation. About 2,300 Americans died in this war, and an additional 4,500 were wounded. In spite of the carnage from this war, it did result in better long-term relations with Britain and led to the demilitarization of the Great Lakes, which would serve future generations in terms of increased trade, better shipping and travel routes, and overall better international relations.

In addition to an economic boom, the new nation exponentially increased in size. In 1803 Jefferson bought 827,000 square miles of land from France in the Louisiana purchase. This added innumerable resources and opportunities for the American people and led to western expansion. Also during this time, the population quadrupled in size going from four million people to twelve million. At the same time, infrastructure increased dramatically as roads were build throughout the settled areas, and eight more states joined the Union. The invention of the Fulton Steam Engine improved shipping over rivers, and led to increased infrastructure particularly in port cities. 

This was also the generation that invented the Missouri Compromise, which stabilized the country for a time, but eventually led to destabilization and, in part, war. 

Overall, the Industrializer generation was better off than the Revolutionary generation. GDP increased approximately 15 percent, labor force participation increased by approximately 5 percent. Technology improved for agriculture, trade, and production, infrastructure increased, and there was very little time spent in warfare, in comparison to the Revolutionary generation. Also during this period, there was not a great deal of social strife. However, this generation failed to address the slavery problem. This generation was set-up to do well by their predecessors, and it succeeded well on its own.

The Antebellum Generation came during a period of economic growth, geographic expansion, and social unrest. During this period there continued to be significant economic growth. GDP increased approximately 20 percent over the course of twenty-five years, in conjunction with increased production and expansion. Industry boomed on the East Coast, agriculture boomed in the South, and people began to move out west to find their own opportunities. Railroads began to be laid, and westward expansion and overall infrastructure increased.

Amidst all of this economic prosperity, the US was hit with an economic panic in 1837-38. The entire decade of the 1830s was somewhat of an economic slump for the country, as overall GDP growth slowed down. During this time the labor force participation rate decreased by a few percent. However, by the end of the decade, the country recovered.

Society began to see important changes at this time. Horace Mann led the effort to provide basic education for all. He helped set up a standardized education system, and led to increased literacy among the Antebellum Generation and its successors. The women's rights movement began in the 1830s with the work of Susan B. Anthony and the Seneca Falls Convention. This was the first women's rights convention and paved the way for future women's rights movements. About the same time the abolitionist movement began to pick up speed to end slavery. William Lloyd Garrison helped found the Antislavery Society in 1831. The abolitionist movement of the Antebellum Generation set the stage for the Civil War in the next generation, and it caused social unrest during its own time. In addition to the abolitionist movement, slaves began to revolt, such as those in Virginia in the Nat Turner Revolt, in which 55 white men, women, and children were killed, and hundreds of slaves were killed in retaliation. The social upheaval of this era, while tumultuous for the time, and while leading to significant upheaval in the next generation, eventually led to the betterment of many lives. 

Conflict also defined this era from the Mexican-American War and wars with Native American tribes. In the Mexican-American War almost 2,000 people died, and 4,100 were wounded. This war was in part caused by the idea of expansion, Manifest Destiny, implemented by James Monroe during the Industrial Generation, harmed this generation by setting up a time of political and military unrest. It led to conflict with the Indians and the Trail of Tears in 1838-39. This would later lead to more conflict between the Native Americans and US military.

Overall this generation would be a mixed bag if it did not have the trump card of 1830. The LDS church was of course founded in 1830 by Joseph Smith, and by default, made this generation better off than its predecessor. 

I am just going so say that the Civil War Generation (Civil Warriors) was definitely worse off than its parents. Over the course of 25 years, the USA experienced civil strife, rebellion, civil war, rampant political corruption (after Civil War), and little economic growth. It was a rough time for the US. 750,000 people died in the Civil War between the two sides, an economic bust pervaded the South, and Jim Crow laws replaced the institution of slavery. 

This generation was definitely worse off than previous generations, and while constitutional amendments were created to leave a positive legacy for the next generation, they failed to work. 

The last quarter of the 19th Century, known as the Gilded Age, was known for its corruption, industrialization, and reconstruction efforts. During this time there was significant conflict with the Indian tribes in the West, the Spanish in Cuba, immigrants in the cities, the flu in people's bodies, and the workers in the factories. There was also a rise in workers rights and an overall increase in production in factories, and industrialization continued to expand throughout the country. Overall, this generation was a mix of good and bad. 

First of all, this time period was really good for the rich, but not so much for the poor. It was a time of significant income inequality, as the richer got richer, and the poorer stayed about the same. Much of the wealthy segment of the economy benefited from corrupt relationships with government officials. What's more, rights for workers such as the 8-hour work day, minimum wage, etc. had yet to be instituted, and the pressures of a capitalist economy were felt most among the workers. However, these conditions led to the rise of the unions, who began the Labor Movement, which would eventually lead to better conditions for workers and higher wages. These benefits would mostly be felt by the next generation.  In addition, from 1873 to 1879, America experienced its worst economic depression to date. It was a time of contraction and deflation. During this time 18,000 businesses went bankrupt and unemployment is estimated to have peaked at about 14 percent. Following the "Long Depression" as it was called, the American economy continued to industrialize: factories expanded, the agricultural industry shrunk, and the service industry grew, as did employment. Because of these changes in the economy, the middle class began to grow. Real wages rose steadily throughout most of this generation.

The Gilded Age is perhaps most well known for its corrupt politics. This was the height of Tammany Hall, and the political machines. The parties managed elections, and rewarded supporters in the form of monetary payoffs and political appointments. This system was called the spoils system, and it dominated the politics of most metropolitan areas in the country. Business leaders spent significant amounts of money ensuring that government did not regulate the activities of big business. Major scandals like the Credit Mobilier Scandal disgraced the government. The corruption of this time period led to major political reform in the next generation, but for the Gilded Agers, the system was corrupt and complacent. 

Almost 3,000 soldiers died in the Spanish-American war, and another 1,500 were wounded. However, from this war Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines became American territories. The war served to further repair relationships between the North and South, but also led to negative relations between the media and the people, as this was when Yellow Journalism really took hold in America. 

In addition to all of this, the Gilded Age was a time of increased immigration, particularly from Asia. America expanded its territories west as more people migrated across the country. Over 50,000 patents were made during this time period, including the light bulb and telegraph. There was also a minor influenza pandemic and women's rights groups continued to rally for universal suffrage. 

Over all, this generation was a mixed bag, but in comparison to the Civil Warriors, the generation of the Gilded Age was definitely better off. It didn't necessarily leave a bright legacy for its children, but the many bad things about the Gilded Age did lead to a great deal of reform in the next generation. 

The Progressives, or the generation from about 1900 to 1925, took the corruption of the Gilded Age and turned it into reform that could only leave their children better off. However, they also took their economic prosperity for granted, and left their children the greatest economic crisis America has ever seen. The Progressives suffered many diseases, which they then cured, and also managed to make America the foremost actor on the world stage. 

The Labor Unions of the previous generation continued to do their work in this generation. By striking and boycotting, workers affected change in the American labor market. Wages increased on average by over six dollars per week, and the average work week went down about 8 hours. Child labor became largely illegal, and workers' compensation became a norm in many states. Anti-trust legislation was implemented, restricting the creation of cartels and prohibiting collusion between companies. This benefited many consumers, as competition increased, and prices were pushed down. Overall, this was a time of economic prosperity as industrialization continued to prosper, trade increased, and investment boomed. 

Labor regulations were not the only important regulations to go into effect at this time. Sinclair Lewis and other muckraking journalists led to significant reform in the food industry as they exposed political corruption and bad practices in factories. They helped the regulations of the labor movement, but also helped to rid the government of significant corruption, like the spoils system. It also led to regulation on the food industry and the birth of the FDA.

Health regulations were not the only thing that led to improved health in the United States. During this time the country experienced a massive influenza epidemic as well as a yellow fever epidemic. By the end of this generation, there were vaccinations for both deadly diseases.

In 1920, the 19th Amendment to the constitution was ratified by the states, implementing universal suffrage, and allowing women to finally have the right to vote throughout the entire country. 

The foreign policy changes in the US, such as the end of the War with Spain, the creation of the Panama Canal, Taft's dollar diplomacy, and American participation in WWI, left the country better off in terms of relative power on the world stage, and also set the stage for American hegemony over the next three generations. 

In short, this generation was significantly better off than its parent generation. It also left a positive legacy to its children in terms of foreign affairs, labor standards, health and safety regulations, and medical innovations. It did not leave a positive economic legacy for its children, who would suffer the Great Depression because of the actions of the Progressives.

The Golden Generation started out bright and sunny, but by 1929, it found itself in a massive economic depression. In 1941, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, thus bringing the US into WWII. During this time the government introduced a great deal of welfare packages, and regulations to prevent further depressions. The US built the first nuclear bomb. Overall technology improved during this time, improving the lives of people throughout the country.

The Golden Generation is a bit of a mixed bag. There is no doubt that during the 1930s these people were worse off than the Progressives, but by the time the 1940s rolled around, and ran their course, the US had rebuilt its economy, developed the most powerful weapon in the world, and become the most influential country in the world. The legacy of this generation is still debated by modern politicians, so I am going to call this generation a mixed bag.

The Baby Boomers were not a mixed bag. The time of the Baby Boomers, while fraught with some economic and social strife, were certainly better off than the Golden Generation. During this time, technology and medicine advanced by leaps and bounds. As a group, they were the wealthiest, most active, and most physically fit generation up to that time. They reaped the benefits of the Green Revolution, increased production, improved technology, and changed society. 

The Baby Boomers instigated the Civil Rights movement in the 1950 and 60s, which changed the country forever. During this time we see land mark changes in society such as the reversal of separate but equal, and the rise rights for African-American citizens, and protection of those rights. 

These people also experienced the Korean and Vietnam Wars, which, combined, killed almost 95,000 Americans, and wounded another 250,000. The wars of this generation heavily influenced the wars of our current generation, and entirely changed the general population's attitude towards war. 

The computer became more widespread during this time, and the foundations for the internet were set into place in the 1960s. The country experienced an economic boom in the 1950s, and a bust in the 1970s. The welfare system was expanded in the 1950s. 

Given all of this, and the many other things that happened during this time period, I think the Baby Boomers are left better off because of the advances in technology, civil rights, American power, and economic production during this time period. It also helps that the Baby Boomers had Elvis and the Beatles.  

The final generation I will look at is Generation X. I think this generation was better off than its parents. This generation invented the internet. It advanced the health of millions of Americans with vaccines for pneumonia, meningitis, hepatitis A and B, and lyme disease. It also improved cancer and heart treatments.

The economy went through periods of boom and bust throughout this time. The generation began with an economic boom in 1975-1980, followed by a steep recession, and then another economic boom in 1982-1990, brought about by the stabilization of inflation and oil prices. This was the second longest economic expansion during peacetime in American history. There was a small recession in 1990-91, which was swiftly followed by further economic growth, during which the federal government balanced the budget (and there was much rejoicing). The net result though is economic growth. 

It is important to point out some thing about this time period that set up modern America for many painful lessons. Much of the American involvement in the Middle East during the 1980s and 1990s, in part, led to the bombings of the World trade Center in 1994 and 2001. The military actions of the US during this time directly relate to those in our generation. 

But on the bright side Generation X produced Queen, ACDC, Journey, and many, many more musical geniuses. 

Generation X was probably better off than the Baby Boomers because of its advances in technology and medicine and economic growth. However, I would say that it did not leave we the Millennials better off than itself. It gave us the Dot Com Bubble, and September 11th, and continued entanglement in the Middle East.   

In conclusion, Rubio made a blanket statement that is inherently incorrect. However, for the most part things have gotten better. There is always increasing economic growth, improving healthcare, and improving technology. However, it is popular in the Republican Party right now to have a negative outlook on the future, so Rubio is at least politically justified in his statement. 
 
Sincerely,
The Soulful Ginger (who hopes she never keeps another question so far over hours, and never writes an answer so long)
 
Question #84360 posted on 12/23/2015 5:59 p.m.
Q:

Dearest 100 Hour Board,

How can fun.'s lips build a castle?

See ya,
Scarlet Flamingo

A:

Dear flarlet scamingo, 

Yours is an interesting question. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to answer, but it's been an intense process to get this to you. 

This video should clear everything up

Also, I now fully admit I'm insane. I hope we can still be friends.

-Auto Surf

For an alternative explanation, see here. Also, sorry if there's any sync issues with the video. YouTube warned me it might happen but I'm hoping that it won't. 

Question #84211 posted on 10/20/2015 9:10 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Where can I buy the chairs they have in the HLR on the first floor of the JFSB? I'm a huge fan of them.

-You guys are awesome! :]

A:

Dear Robot Smiley Face,

For a while, I searched in vain; people didn't understand what I meant where I asked them where I could find the "juhfuhsuhbuh," much less where the "h'lurr" was located within said juhfuhsuhbuh.

Eventually, Auto Surf discovered my plight and informed me that the correct pronunciation was actually "juhfizbuh." With this information, I was able to find the correct building on campus, and there I found a map that directed me toward the fabled h'lurr.

Upon my arrival, however, I encountered an obstacle. A notice outside the h'lurr informed me that the lab was intended for use by humanities students, and I was definitely not a humanities student. I was carrying a book about the Rare Earth Hypothesis, for Pete's sake. Quickly, I put on my best Humanities Major disguise:

-Classy (and extremely soft and comfy) H&M shirt? Check.
-Cool black jeans? Check.
-Cool brown leather shoes? Check.
-Paper bag (with glasses and French mustache drawn on)? Check.
-Black beret? Check.

Thus equipped, I approached the lab attendant behind the desk:

"How do you do, fellow humanities major? I have come to this h'lurr within this marvelous juhfizbuh in order to participate in some computerized humanities. May I have access to one of these computerized-humanities-machines?"

The attendant responded by raising one of her eyebrows. Frantically trying to remember the secret humanities major code, I responded by winking at her. My first wink elicited no response, so I proceeded to wink several more times to make sure the message was clear. 

"Umm..." she responded "I already have a boyfriend, so...can I help you?"

I racked my brain, but I couldn't remember what this peculiar phrase signified. So, I let out my most convincing laugh ("HA...HAHA, HA...HA.") and then replied:

"Yes! I am very aware of what that means. I will now proceed to do some humanities. Thank you!"

I gave her one last wink, then shuffled over to a computer.

Upon refreshing the screen, I encountered another obstacle; a window that declared that these computers were to be used for academic purposes only, and that misuse would be reported to the Honor Code office. So, upon logging in, I did the two most academic things I could think of: I logged onto the 100 Hour Board and took a selfie.

HLRbag.png

With my cover now established, I turned to my real purpose: the chairs. Admittedly, I was a bit underwhelmed by what I found. I was envisioning vast, lush thrones in this mystical h'lurr; what I found were simple office chairs. Nevertheless, I determined I would find out how to obtain them. Doing so inauspiciously proved difficult. I tried looking at the chairs to my left and right, but they seemed to bear no marks or logos of any sort. I lowered my seat height to get a better angle. Nothing. I raised my seat height, and the chair let out a loud, prolonged squeak. Panicked, I got out of the chair and knelt beside my backpack, pretending to rummage through my backpack. Time was of the essence; any minute now, the lab attendants might notice something fishy and investigate. I was just about to give in to despair when I spied a single word on the back of my seat:

"Steelcase."

Elated, I quickly zipped up my backpack and logged off of the computer. I dashed out of the lab, emerging seconds before they sent the Komodo dragons after me (I didn't actually see any Komodo dragons, but I have heard rumors from other STEM majors that the creatures are kept in the basement of this juhfizbuh for such purposes).

---

Later, from the safety of [REDACTED], I searched for the cipher of "Steelcase," and found that it was a maker of chairs of many different varieties. Their selection of office chairs can be found here. Though I don't see the exact model that was found in the h'lurr, I'm sure the others will be very comparable in function and comfort.

-Frère Rubik

posted on 10/21/2015 3:48 p.m.
I'm pretty sure this is it although, I don't know many college students with $479 to spend on an office chair. Perhaps you should keep an eye out for it at a Surplus Sale.
Question #84161 posted on 10/11/2015 4:18 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Recently I have heard quite a bit about the "Mountain Lodge" Yankee Candle. Apparently it is legendary, and now my friends want to venture out and purchase this candle in bulk. Rumor has it that the candle smells so good that you will never need to have a boyfriend again, because the candle will fill the empty void in your life. Is this accurate? Is the candle worth buying??

- Single and ready to buy all the candles.

A:

Dear TARDIS,

This question came in shortly after Vienna and I had already made plans to go to DI, so we thought, "Why not track down this candle, too?" That turned into an adventurous night which we've named, "The Night of 'No, But Really,'" due to the fact that anytime either of us said anything jokingly, the other almost always replied with that phrase.

It started out simple, getting dinner at the Malt Shoppe. Since my name often gets mispronounced, I avoid the problem all together by giving a fake name. Believe it or not, I didn't use "Tally," which I should've, in retrospect. Dinner was cheap and good, paid for partially by mashed potato money from the sensory lab.

Our main purpose in going to DI was for me to show Vienna how to successfully shop there, which I think I might've accomplished. (The trick is in being patient and knowing exactly what you want when you go in; browsing at DI is really hard and is just frustrating). After selecting some stuff, we went to try it on.

I stepped out of the dressing area to show off the fit of one of the shirts, and found myself being complimented by a guy standing nearby. He was cute enough, slightly awkward, so I thought, "what's the harm?"

The attention continued through the clothes I tried on, increasing with an inquiry as to my age (he thought I was much younger) and as to my marital status (he was quite curious to know if I had a boyfriend). In discussion of the latter, he indicated that he was here with "her," referring to the girl in the changing area next to mine. Immediately I wondered, "Is 'her' his date/girlfriend?" With so little information to go on, I stopped responding (noticeably) to his overtures and Vienna and I made our quick exit. 

As I related to Vienna in the car to our next destination, "I don't know how I feel about getting hit on. I mean... It felt nice."

We now had to track down this elusive candle. Anne had posted a flagette with a potential location, and I'd misread it, thinking it'd referred to the mall in Orem. Google seemed to reconfirm this, taking us to said mall. After navigating Friday night mall parking (why do people go to the mall on Friday night?? I mean, we had a reason, but what is everyone else doing there??), we approached the directory only to find out that such a store didn't exist. We checked a couple of other stores that might stock the candles, only to be let down. I called Anne, found out that the actual location of the store was in Murray. Vienna found that Wal-mart carried the brand, so we decided to check there first.

Of course, on our way out, we couldn't help but walk past Build-a-Bear. I found it hard to resist purchasing one of these adorable creations:

Bears.jpg

The light was on as we approached the corner where Krispy Kreme sat, and in a spendy mood, it took little convincing of myself to get some donuts (which, to be honest, were disappointingly chilled). When we got to Wal-mart, Vienna had to physically drag me away from the clothes to wander through the aisles until we asked a nice employee where the candles were located. The selection was paltry, and we missed them on first glance. They only carried about ten scents, and yet we took the time to smell them, hoping to find something that would come close to the legend. A number of the scents were incredibly disgusting (the salted caramel was disappointingly unappetizing), and Vienna's comment about one smelling like old people made the other woman in the aisle chuckle.

Wanting to satisfy our readers, we figured we should probably actually go to Murray. Hoping the store closed at ten, we found out instead that it closed at nine, and we were thirty-three minutes away. And it was 8:15. Plenty of time.

We sprinted out of Wal-mart (Vienna nearly running into me when I stopped suddenly at one point) and sped (only slightly) towards our new destination. Thanksgiving Point was setting off fireworks, which was very distracting as a driver, especially in those narrow lanes of construction. A police car drove near us for a short time, and despite the fact that I wanted to go faster than him, I did not want to get pulled over. He wouldn't understand the desperation we had for finding this candle.

We arrived at the mall at approximately 8:50, with ten minutes to go before closing. We raced through The Container Store, startling a couple of people to be sure. We hastily checked the directory, confusing a nearby man with our enthusiasm for a candle shop, and ran towards Yankee Candle.

And then we found it. 

 Candle.jpg

This is the smallest one they had. As in, the smallest we could afford. It's a two dollar candle. We drove thirty minutes to buy a two dollar candle. That, you guys, is dedication to the Board.

The candle itself? Well, it smells delicious. It smells like fall, but it also smells like an attractive man holding you close. It smells like you will never be lonely again. When Rubik asked "...How many of those candles did you two buy?" Vienna aptly replied, "Enough to fill the voids in our heart forever." I have proceeded to name the candle Elliott Hamilton, and my roommates have surprisingly caught on as well. Elliott and I are now Facebook official.

 

Okay, but in all seriousness, it does smell pretty good. It's hard to smell when it's burning though, but maybe it just hadn't been going for long enough last night. Yankee Candles are also super expensive, and candles are just a hard purchase to justify for me when I could buy other things instead. However, the night was a ton of fun, and I loved hanging out with Vienna, so thanks for supplying us with an awesome adventure!

-Tally M.

Question #84117 posted on 10/10/2015 7:44 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How do I food here at BYU? Are meal plans worth it if I'm in Heritage and don't have to have one? Haven't purchased one yet, but looking to reduce costs for 2nd semester.

-Recovering Food Addict

A:

Dear Doctor,

If you're looking to reduce costs, then do not get a meal plan, especially if you're in Heritage. If you're in Heritage, that means you can cook, which means you will save money.

So, here's Tally M.'s Guide to Eating Cheaply in College:

First, forget to eat food on a regular basis.

...

Okay, but in all seriousness.

Tally M.'s Guide to Cheap College Eating

There aren't really any great resources for eating cheaply in college. Most online guides for cooking for one assume that you have a full-time job to be able to afford many of the ingredients. Most of the guides for college students assume that you live in a dorm and only have a microwave. This is okay for awhile, but is really frustrating when you want more food than just the microwaved stuff. And so, this guide attempts to combine the two.

The first thing you need to do is to determine a budget. Plan how much money you will spend on food about every two weeks or so. This money will include groceries as well as eating out, so keep that in mind. If you don't have a good idea of how much money you can spend on food and can afford to be a bit flexible, don't worry about a budget for the first few shopping trips, and then see about what you're spending. Try to spend as little as possible, though in order to reduce meal costs, you'll need to get some staples that will raise your initial costs.

The next thing you need to do is to create a meal plan. Creating a meal plan is the most effective way to make sure you only buy what you're going to eat. Plan breakfasts, lunches, and dinners—or what ever meals you normally eat throughout the day. I'll have more on different meals to plan, but this is still important to do. Be willing to be flexible with your meals, which often means building in "flex" days where you either make something simple with things you already have or get a free meal from someone or even going out.

Going shopping is the next step. If you want to get into couponing, do so. It helps to notice when things are on sale, especially fruits and vegetables. Apples are best to buy in the fall, whereas strawberries are best in June. Additionally, try to buy generic as often as possible. Nine times out of ten, it's pretty much the same, or not enough of a difference to matter. (The exception to this is Cheez-its. I made the mistake of trying to save money with generic, despite my firm belief that you can't do that with Cheez-its, and I was, of course, very disappointed.) Buy only what you're going to eat, and be willing to go to the store a bit more often to pick up fresh foods. 

Some other generic tips:

  • Baking bread is much more cost-effective. If you have the time and are willing to learn, do it. E-mail me (or ask another question) if you want a great wheat bread recipe.
  • If you don't go through bread (pita bread, hot dog buns, bagels, all the bread things) before it gets moldy, put it in the freezer! It keeps much longer.
  • Buying in bulk is generally better, but more often than not, you just can't afford the initial price. That's okay. Don't feel bad about not saving as much money as you could.
  • It's okay to buy things if it means you're more likely to eat. While it's cheaper to do homemade, it's not always easier, which may lead to not eating—or eating out all of the time. Sometimes you have to buy precut fruit or bagged salads and that's just fine.
  • FOOD STORAGE! Every time you go shopping, buy an extra can of something. You'll be grateful for it down the road. Just be sure to rotate the cans (don't shove it in the back of your cupboard and proceed to forget about it for two years because you don't move and everyone just gives you their extra food when they move out).

Now for the fun part: actual meal suggestions. These aren't vegetarian, nor gluten free, nor vegan, nor lactose-lacking. I'm sorry. However, this guide may give you some ideas to use to create your own modified food plan. Additionally, this is heavily based on my own food preferences. I've tried to draw in other things, but I just don't have a wide range of foods that I make. Obviously this guide isn't definitive, but is more for a starting point for your own lifestyle.

Staples

What you should buy to help supplement meals. Some of these are mentioned below as part of meals, but I wanted to give you a general list. You might not be able to afford all of this at once (or you might if you can convince your parents to take you shopping at the beginning of the semester), but it's good to gradually be building up your pantry. Also, some of these things you'll have to buy relatively regularly—like the cheese and onions. Don't let those go bad!

  • Spices. These are great for making food taste ten times better.
    • Rosemary, italian seasoning (or basil and oregano), garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, curry powder, salt, pepper, red pepper, hot sauce, minced garlic (in a jar)
  • Baking products
    • Sugar, butter, flour, vegetable oil, cocoa, syrup, chocolate chips (what can I say? You never know when you'll want to make cookies)
  • Peanut butter
  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Noodles
  • Tortillas
  • Cheese
  • Beans
  • Onions
  • Salad dressing
    • Ranch, italian, and raspberry vinaigrette are pretty easily used in a wide variety of recipes.
  • If you're inclined to prefer East Asian food, soy sauce
  • A lot of people suggest having lentils to make things with. I don't, but that doesn't mean you can't!
  • Canned/frozen vegetables/fruits

Based on Wal-mart prices, it'll probably be close to $50 to stock up on a majority of these items. Spices can be expensive, but there are some bagged spices at Wal-mart that are cheaper than the stuff in jars. I've also heard rumors that there are decent quality spices at dollar stores, so that might be worth looking into. 

Breakfasts

Rather than most traditional breakfast foods, you want to put an emphasis on proteins, rather than grains. To be fair, this can be more expensive, but you'll feel better off for it.

  • Microwave scrambled eggs
    • Spray a mug with cooking spray, mix an egg in it, put it in the microwave at about power level 6 for a minute. Adjust to your microwave. The power level is important so your egg doesn't explode. Just so you know.
  • Bacon
    • You probably won't eat the whole package of bacon all at once, so when you get home from the store, put a couple of pieces per plastic baggie and stick them in the freezer. It requires a little bit of forethought to pull them out before you eat them, but that's okay.
  • Breakfast sandwiches
    • Put one of those canned pineapple rings on each side of a bagel or English muffin, then put a slice of deli ham on top, then a couple of slices of cheese. Pop that in a toaster oven or a regular oven until the cheese is nice and melted. It's delicious.
    • Premade sandwiches. I tried making these, but the eggs just didn't turn out quite right. It worked with the ham and cheese though! And you might have better luck with the eggs than I did.
  • Breakfast burritos
    • Basically, scrambled eggs + salsa if you're lazy. And it's wrapped in a tortilla, so you can eat it as you head out to school/work/what have you
  • Bagels. These are nice and simple and my go-to when I really don't have time, and I'll have to eat on the run.
  • Poptarts and scrambled eggs. You can get a box of cinnamon sugar or strawberry for like a dollar (if you get the generic kind). This was a family favorite growing up, so I'm slightly biased.
  • Pancakes made from pancake mix. This takes a little longer, and you definitely can't put syrup and peanut butter on them and eat it while walking to school. Trust me, I've tried.
I don't recommend cereal. But a lot of people have cereal, or oatmeal, or just a piece of fruit. And if that's all you can manage, then go for it. It's better to eat anything for breakfast than nothing at all. You can also have non-breakfast foods for breakfast. Like pizza. I definitely had that for breakfast this week, and it was delicious. I also keep a box of protein bars on hand when I can, just in case I have no energy in the morning to make anything at all.

Lunches

Lunch is hard, especially because most of the time you're not able to be home to make something, you have limited time to make things in the morning, and you don't always have a break to eat during the day. This usually leads to a limited selection of foods. I get that. If you have a sandwich every day, mix up what kind of sandwich you make, or even what other sides you bring. Also, invest in a lunchbox/bag. It's definitely worth it.

  • Sandwiches. Pretty obvious suggestion.
  • Salads are actually pretty good to bring—just don't forget to bring a fork. You might also want to consider investing in some Tupperware that comes with a salad size container as well as a couple of smaller containers for toppings like dressing and croutons (because soggy croutons are the worst). 
  • Premade lunches
    • One of my favorites is what I call sandwich bread. You make normal bread dough, then roll it out like pizza, fill it with toppings (mustard, shredded ham, shredded cheese; pesto, mozzerella, chicken; etc.), then roll it up. Bake in the oven like normally, then cut into slices. Stick a couple of slices in each plastic baggie and throw them in the freezer. By the time you get to lunch time, they're defrosted and ready to eat.
    • Tacos in sleeping bags are also really easy. After you've baked them, put two per bag, and put them in the freezer. Thirty seconds in the microwave is usually enough to make them delicious again.
  • Leftovers! Once again, don't forget a fork/proper utensils. I usually do and it's not fun.

The way I pack my lunches is: main dish (sandwich, salad, etc.), side dish (pretzels, tortilla chips, trail mix, etc.), and a fruit or vegetable. If I remember, I throw in a small dessert like a fun size candy bar or a small chocolate. This way you feel like you had a well-rounded lunch.

Dinners

I realized while typing this up that I forget to eat dinner a lot more than I'm comfortable admitting. I do not recommend following my example. My problem is that I'm lazy and don't want to think about something to make. Therefore, meal plans are very effective. These suggestions are in no particular order except that I thought of them in this order.

  • Black beans and rice
    • Mix in some sour cream and salsa and eat with tortilla chips. Bonus, if you have more beans than rice at the end, you can use the beans to make NACHOS.
  • Hot dogs
    • When you get home from the grocery store, put each hot dog in its own plastic baggie and put in the freezer (I really love freezing food, if you can't tell). Then put a bag of buns in the freezer as well. When you want one, wrap the hot dog in a paper towel and defrost it. Microwave and then toast your bun. Voila. Takes two minutes, tops.
  • Pasta
    • Yes, making your own pasta sauce is cheaper and healthier, but sometimes there just isn't time. Don't feel bad for buying premade sauce. Just do it. Noodles are pretty easy to cook, and then you can just heat up some sauce and pour it on top.
  • Quesadillas
  • Fajitas
    • I love fajitas. Super simple--just a matter of cooking some chicken, a pepper, tomato, and possibly an onion with a packet of fajita mix. Plus you usually get leftovers.
  • Chicken. There are literally so many ways to eat chicken, it's kind of ridiculous. There are two different approaches that are both good.
    • Rotisserie
      • Wal-mart sells rotisserie chickens for five dollars. The same price as a Little Caesar's pizza. Just buy one, come home and cut the meat off the bones. You can use this for SO many things. Make a salad with chicken. Stick it in quesadillas. Put it on pizza (more on that later). Put it in a tortilla with some other stuff and make it into a wrap. Eat it plain.
    • Frozen breasts
      • Once again, put these in individual bags when you get home from the grocery store. Then, take one out the morning (or night before) you're going to eat it to let it defrost. It's really simple to put it in a tinfoil-lined pan with some Italian dressing and some other seasoning/vegetables and let it bake in the oven for 20 minutes or so. You could also put pesto/basil, mozzarella, and tomatoes on it. Or cook it on the stove and turn it into a wrap. Or put on bagels with some cheese. Put some seasonings or a sauce on it and put it on rice. Be creative! Chicken's pretty forgiving.
  • Mini pita pizzas
    • Pita bread makes a great crust for a mini pizza. Some ideas of simple pizzas:
      • Classic pizza: tomato sauce (even spaghetti sauce can sometimes work), mozzarella, any toppings you want
      • BBQ Chicken: barbecue sauce, shredded chicken (rotisserie works great here), and cheddar cheese
      • Rosemary Chicken: olive oil, shredded chicken, mozzarella, and rosemary (this one is my favorite)
      • Basically anything you can think of
  • Tacos. You know how to make tacos. It's meat plus a taco seasoning packet and veggies/cheese. Super easy. Or you can make burritos with beans instead. Americanized Mexican is seriously the best.
  • BBQ chicken mac and cheese. See yayfulness' answer on Board Question #71137 in which I've already provided the recipe. There are also some other good food ideas in answers to that question.
  • Soup. You can either just do the canned stuff or make your own.
    • Five can soup is delicious. It's just a can each of corn, refried beans, black beans, and chicken or vegetable broth, plus a half jar of salsa. Then you stir and heat it up. Add fried tortilla strips and shredded chicken if you want.
  • Refried beans. Just refried beans. Sometimes with cheese, sour cream, and/or salsa. Eat with tortilla chips. Or in a tortilla.
  • I've heard stir fry is good. I don't like it though. But really, it's just vegetables with soy sauce in a pan. You can even often buy frozen mixed veggies designed for stir fry.
  • Potatoes are great! Mash them, boil them, stick 'em in a stew! Just be careful that you don't leave them too long or they'll start to grow/rot. And then your roommates will be mad at you.
  • Black bean burgers are a bit more time consuming, but these are a cheaper solution to buying actual hamburger, and they're still pretty good. It's also slightly more time consuming. But they're delicious.

Example

I wanted to give you an example of a meal plan, but there are a couple caveats I need to make you aware of. First, this assumes that I have things already in my pantry. When you're making a meal plan, you should do the same thing. Use what you have, buy what you need. Second, this is based on my own personal tastes and my own personal schedule. This is only meant to be a guide, not definitive.

  Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Breakfast XX XX Breakfast sandwich w/ pineapple Bacon and egg Breakfast sandwich w/ pineapple Bacon and egg Breakfast sandwich w/ pineapple Pancakes
Lunch Make bread 5 Can Soup Sandwich bread Sandwich bread Sandwich bread Salad w/ Chicken Sandwich bread Hot dog
Dinner Fajitas Family meal Leftovers Chicken w/ basil, tomato & mozzarella BBQ chicken pita pizza Chicken noodle soup Board party! Taco Salad
                 
  Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday  
Breakfast XX Breakfast burrito Breakfast sandwich w/ pineapple Breakfast burrito Breakfast sandwich w/ pineapple Bacon and egg Breakfast sandwich w/ pineapple  
Lunch Roommate lunch Sandwich bread Sandwich bread Sandwich bread Leftover pasta Sandwich bread Hot dog  
Dinner Taco salad Hot dog Chicken w/ Italian dressing Pasta w/ meat Black beans and rice Black beans and rice XX  

So, anywhere there's "XX" is where I'm not planning the meal (i.e., I don't eat breakfast on Sunday mornings). Now, I can use this to help me plan what I need to shop for. My budget is about $60, so I'll keep that in mind.

This shopping list assumes that I already have some of the food items.

Bacon $3.66
Bagels $1.78
Black beans x2 $2.16
Cheese $4.93
Chicken broth x2 $1.56
Chicken noodle soup $1.00
Corn x2 $1.36
Croutons $1.00
Eggs $2.48
Ground beef $3.66
Ham $2.48
Hot dog buns $0.68
Hot dogs $2.98
Salsa $2.48
Lettuce $1.98
Onion $0.68
Pasta $0.88
Pasta sauce $1.50
Green pepper $0.78
Pineapple rings $1.16
Refried beans x2 $1.70
Rice $1.38
Sour cream $1.68
Tomato x3 $2.94
Tortillas $1.68
Tortilla chips $2.68
Pop Weaver Popcorn $5.00
Total: $52.59

Not all of everything will be used in the two week period, so I can carry them over into the next week. I also usually buy a bag of fruit, such as apples or oranges (depending on the season). When you plan your meals, make sure to use things that will go bad in the beginning of the meal plan. If you need to, go to the store halfway through shopping trips to pick up other fresh food.

In Conclusion

The trick is to be creative. There is a lot of food that is relatively cheap, particularly canned food. Be willing to try and mix and match things you think could possibly go together. There are so many flavor combinations that even if you got the same set of groceries, that can keep you satisfied for a decent amount of time. I've been eating basically the same things for the last four years, and every four months or so I get bored, which means I add a new meal idea, sometimes getting rid of an old idea I'm completely sick of. Pinterest can also be a good resource for brainstorming food ideas. Most of the things on there are too elaborate, but it is possible to find ideas that are legitimately cheap and easy. 

Food is really hard in college. You have to balance things being cheap with being easy to make, as well as suitable for one person. And then you can't forget to be healthy as well. Talk to your roommates to get suggestions about things they eat. Learning how to budget and plan meals is a great skill to learn for your future, so be grateful you can learn it early.

-Tally M.

Question #84057 posted on 10/04/2015 10:20 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'm planning to lead an expedition to the center of the hollow earth. We're hoping to find Atlantis, the Lost Ten Tribes, dinosaurs, and the rich realm of Artidax.

Just kidding! I made Artidax up.

We will be leaving on October 8, during the Draconis Meteor Shower at 23:00. That's 11:00pm, in case you were wondering.

My companions are as follows:

Johnny (the Geologist). He has read at least 3 books about volcanoes and tectonic plates. Plus, he's really good at identifying rocks. He knows which ones hurt the most when you throw them at people.

Colton (the Engineer). He changes his own oil. And he's the only one with a car, so...yeah.

Samantha (the Chick). She's really hot, so we let her tag along.

Richard (the Cool one). When he picks up his iPhone, Siri asks him questions. He doesn't order pizza: pizza orders him. When he watches the Lion King, he doesn't cry: Simba does. Plus, he can juggle. You never know when a skill like that could come in handy...

Me (the Tunnel Guide). I have the map. So I'm pretty much the boss.

We've already got three changes of underwear, like 20 boxes of Sunbelt™ granola bars, 6 flashlights with extra batteries, and 7 Axe™ Deoderant body sprays. Also, I brought my grandfather's ancient Atlantean Nerf™ Gun. I've never pulled the trigger on it, so I don't know what it does. Grandpa said only to use it in emergencies.

We're pretty much set to jet. The only thing is, the entrance to the Hollow Earth is directly under BYU campus. I think you can guess where this is going. You see, my grandfather went on an expedition years ago, and when he returned, he was pale as a ghost and covered in worm-blood. Something in those tunnels is guarding the entrance to the Hollow Earth. Grandpa never talks about the expedition. He got the Nerf™ Gun, but nothing else. I just know there's more down there! I just don't know how to evade the worms.

Compiling all the information from the Board, can you create a field guide detailing their attributes and history? I would feel more prepared if I knew exactly what kind of monsters I'm dealing with here.

What tunnel do I start at? How do we ward off the Worms? The legends say that Maeser was able to do it for a while. All I need is enough time to make it to the Tribe of Naphtali (that's the one directly under Campus).


-The Tunnel Guide

A:

Dear adventurer,

I applaud your bravery and stupidity. But you definitely need all the help you can get, so below is 1) the equipment you need, 2) advice, and finally, 3) a compilation of most relevant Board references to the tunnel worms.

Equipment

  • 2-4 freshmen. VERY important. Can walk in front and behind you, and act as bait and/or sacrifice when the need arises. May be substituted with EFY students, but teenagers tend to be more rebellious.
  • 70 feet of rope
  • 24-hours worth of water
  • binoculars
  • dynamite
  • 2-way radios
  • sparklers
  • duct tape
  • 1 gallon of pepper
  • A collapsible hang glider or parachute
  • hamburgers (NOT to be eaten by the crew)
  • a urinal
  • Jack Sparrow's compass

Advice

  • Don't go.
  • Make sure you don't have any important plans in the next 4 years.
  • Get some good life insurance.
  • Bring your map, but don't depend on it. Chances are the tunnels have changed greatly since it was made.
  • User your freshmen to taste-test the various fungi and moss.
  • There's nothing wrong with grabbing a few gems you see on the way, but only take the really good stuff because they can get heavy.
  • Don't mind if it seems like you've been going in circles for the past few days. You probably have been, but there are worse fates.
  • Unless you're really committed, don't use spice. Even the decaff stuff is addictive.
  • The earth is hollow, but what most people don't know is that there is another earth inside, rotating the opposite way (this is what gives the earth its magnetic field). So the tribe of Naphtali is underneath BYU, but only at very specific times. Once you reach the underbelly of the earth, I'd wait until you spy the tribe before you jump.
  • The 10 lost tribes live on the inner earth, but so do the demons, so play it safe. Head toward the fiery pillar and stay away from the shadowlands.

Board Information on Tunnel Worms

Topic Board Question Information Revealed About Tunnel Worms
Physical Description Board Question #77020 Pictures
  Board Question #47757 More pictures
  Board Question #71319 Give off a wretched smell
  Board Question #66754 Produce venomous slime. Also, the tunnel worm theme song
  Board Question #34301 Have razor sharp teeth
  Board Question #72242 Are not for the faint of heart
  Board Question #13534 Can smell fear
Eating Habits Board Question #67535

Eat both freshmen and EFY students

  Board Question #68571 Are less likely to eat non-freshmen, as yayfulness survived one. However, his status as writer may have contributed to this result
  Board Question #80640 They exact proportion, given in percentages, that different college years contribute to the tunnel worm diet
  Board Question #30609 Also eat burgers
  Board Question #31953 And tangerines
Helpful History Board Question #83139 First contact
  Board Question #67072 Migration from center of earth to Provo. Also, the map I'm assuming you're using to get to the center of the earth
  Board Question #912 Existence of the Weepel (King of Worms)
  Board Question #45222 Various, specific worms named
  Board Question #80640 Some children have been raised by tunnel worms
  Board Question #80024 Possible connection with the Universe
Hive Locations Board Question #28732 Under the SWKT
  Board Question #69911 Under Helaman Halls
  Board Question #39134 Next to the generators of the Talmage
  Board Question #56942 Latitude and longitude of an entrance
  Board Question #46985 Provides google maps directions to tunnels here
  Board Question #83139 Separate, but connected, tunnel systems for utilities and worms
Ideas to survive Board Question #13170 Bring the Mighty Quinn (though word is he's now a body guard for the Board lair with the tunnel worms)
  Board Question #35602 Walk without rhythm
  Board Question #6447 Don't bring any form of caffeine
  Board Question #70046 Enlist the aid of Ralphie, the loving tunnel worm
  Board Question #4522 Repelled by urinals
  Board Question #38443 Can be tickled
  Board Question #32251 Can be distracted with food
  Board Question #25041 Can somehow be controlled with spice, as demonstrated by Leto II
  Board Question #43447 More of above
  Board Question #81068

Enter closed buildings on three-day weekends

 

Talk to strangers, look both ways before jumping, and have fun. And, since I dare not wish you anything else, I wish you a quick and relatively painless death.

-El-ahrairah

Question #83972 posted on 09/27/2015 6:16 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Writers,

Can you tell me a story?

- Warm Milk

A:

Hello Kitty,

In a place called Setting, during the Expositional Period, lived a character by the name of Protagonist. Protagonist had features and qualities as well as relationships and dynamics. However, Protagonist had a flaw. Protagonist's friend Foil, did not have the same flaw because of a special characteristic of Foil -- Dramatic Irony. Protagonist's flaw was not a major issue, but Protagonist's friend Foreshadowing said it would be important later.

Towards the end of the Expositional Period, a group known as Inciting Incident came to Setting. Inciting Incident caused all sorts of trouble for the cast of Setting. Protagonist was faced with conflict because of Inciting Incident. Protagonist knew something must be done so Protagonist challenged the leader of Inciting Incident, Antagonist, to Rising Action. "Hmm..." thought Antagonist. "I suppose. But if we beat you at Rising Action then we will destroy your Emotional Connection!"

The cast of Setting was shocked. Everyone deeply cared for Emotional Connection. "Fine," replied Protagonist. "But if I win then you agree to the terms of Falling Action!"

Antagonist nodded in agreement. The Rising Action that followed was full of suspense. At times Protagonist seemed to be winning while at other times Antagonist held the upper hand.

After the first two segments of Rising Action came the final segment, Rule of Three. Whoever won Rule of Three would win all of Rising Action. Antagonist completed Rule of Three first with the result of Heightened Tension. Heightened Tension meant that Protagonist must overcome the flaw Foreshadowing mentioned earlier, which seemed very unlikely.

Protagonist began Rule of Three and soon, because of the flaw, fell victim to Apparent Defeat. Antagonist began the ritual of Premature Celebration. The cast of Setting was very sad. Protagonist, however, had been helped by Foil to use Dramatic Irony to be victorious at Rule of Three. While Antagonist was distracted with Premature Celebration, Protagonist used the power of Climax to defeat Antagonist and drive away Inciting Incident.

Antagonist was forced to abide by the terms of Falling Action. Once Falling Action had been completed, Protagonist and the cast of Setting participated in the celebration of Denouement.

The End

-M.O.D.A.Q.

Question #83943 posted on 09/28/2015 7:53 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What is the legal justification for trying a juvenile as an adult? If I understand correctly, this usually happens when an adolescent commits a particularly heinous crime to the end of giving them an appropriate punishment. But what principle of law is that says, "There are courts specifically designed to account for the underdeveloped moral and cognitive capacities of someone your age, but because your crime was so severe, we're going to legally strip you of that protection and treat you as an adult."

I'm thinking particularly of the two girls who will stand as adults in the Slender Man stabbing trial. While I think that what they did is absolutely terrible, I do think it's important to account for their age and impressionability. The article linked above does mention that it's Wisconsin law to try anyone over the age of ten as an adult—but why? Why do juvenile courts exist if their jurisdiction can be arbitrarily overridden?

-Thusly

A:

Dear Thusly,

I've spent the last couple hours reading up on ALL OF THE THINGS, but the truth is that I can't find a satisfactory answer—at least, not to the question I think you're asking. Let me explain some of what I learned and tell you what I think.

There are some fundamental differences between juvenile courts and adult criminal courts. The biggest is in their purpose: adult courts are intended to punish the offender and protect society from further harm, whereas juvenile courts are intended to rehabilitate the offender and encourage reintegration into society. What I didn't realize when I started researching this question is that in some jurisdictions, juvie courts cannot send delinquents to prison, even if the offenders have committed atrocious crimes and are emotionally and mentally mature enough to be held responsible for them. In these cases, the rationale for trying them as adults is that the punishment needs to be more tailored to the crime.

In the case of the Slender Man teens, being tried as adults allows for a punishment beyond simply house arrest or community service—which, considering the severity of what they've done, strikes me as appropriate. I'm inclined to agree with you: no thirteen-year-old I know can be expected to think as rationally or responsibly as an adult. Young teenagers have trouble distinguishing between fiction and reality, and I know how deceptive and alluring media like Slender Man can be. Heck, when I was thirteen, I still harbored a half-hope that my letter from Hogwarts had spent the last two years lost in the mail. A bizarre experience with peer pressure and fantasy novels in sixth grade led me to believe—quite literally and sincerely—in a fictional world that turned out to be a figment of my imagination. If you'd compared me to an average, rational adult, I'd have qualified as clinically insane. Keeping those things in mind, I feel almost as sorry for these girls as I do for their victim.

Nevertheless, I think it's important that thirteen-year-olds learn accountability, and in such a case there's a lot to be accountable for. I don't think they should be sentenced to life in prison or anywhere near it, as an adult might be, but I don't think they should get away with mere house arrest, either. The legal provision for trying juveniles as adults allows for individual adjustment in cases like this.

I should also note that being tried as a juvenile is not automatically better than being tried as an adult. The "advantages and disadvantages" article that I've linked to below explains it in more detail, but juveniles, because they're not fully considered persons in the eyes of the law, don't have a right to trial by jury. They simply get tried and sentenced by a judge. (I was a little ticked off when I discovered that, but there's a rant for another post.) If they're tried in a criminal court, they get a jury, and juries are often disposed to be lenient when the offender is underage. 

The trend toward trying adolescents as adults really took off in the mid-nineties, after a huge increase in the violent youth crime rate. Juvenile courts had always been intended to account for the underdeveloped moral and reasoning capacities of youth, but it increasingly seemed as though the age that had traditionally constituted adulthood was insufficient—that children were growing up faster and encountering adult material much earlier than they ever had before, and that it wasn't right for someone with the same cognitive abilities as a grown-up to receive a lesser punishment. According to some of the pages I came across, studies have shown that most people can reason about morality and consequences at an adult level by the age of sixteen. The justification there is that someone who is fully responsible for what she did ought to be held fully responsible for what she did.

So those are the practical reasons for trying someone as an adult, and they seem reasonable enough to me. But I don't think they answer your question. I couldn't find anything that offered a legal justification for why age, as a legally binding category, should be able to be arbitrarily waived (often at the behest of a single judge or prosecutor, and often to the defendant's detriment) just so they can receive a punishment that has their age group has been purposefully excluded from. To me, this speaks to a dysfunctionality in the the way juvenile courts are run. I'm certainly not a legal student nor an expert in juvenile law, but it sounds to me as though juvie courts ought to have the power to try adolescents by jury and to assign appropriate punishments, when needed—while maintaining the specific protections that juvenile courts were created to provide, like privacy and leniency based on age. 

It might be better to call what you're looking for a "philosophical justification" than a "legal justification," because the legal ones are there—they're simply practical, rather than abstract. The absence of such a justification grates against my better judgment, too. But I think that juvenile courts have developed as a matter of tradition and gradual shifts in society, rather than from any premeditated philosophical plan. As a result, as with anything in the world of law, we've ended up with some weird holdovers from things that used to make more sense than they do now, but which are hard to change because they've been enshrined in law. Even so, I think that the ability to waive an adolescent's access to a juvenile court is a good thing overall. Here are some links to the pages where I got my information; you might be interested in as reading them as you continue your search for a philosophical justification for trial as adult. Hope this helps, even if I didn't really answer your question.

Wikipedia on "Trial as adult"
A brief explanation of juvenile law
Differences between juvenile and adult criminal courts
Juvenile court sentencing options
Advantages and disadvantages of being tried as an adult
Trends and consequences of trying juveniles and adults
Why we should treat juveniles differently
Juveniles and the constitutionality of the death penalty

Yours, &c.

Heidi Book

Question #83817 posted on 09/13/2015 3:50 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'm confused on the relationship between God and Jesus. I know that God is the Father and that Jesus is his only Begotten Son. But Jesus is also a god, without a capital g? Also when in the Old Testament, God refers to Jesus, right? I guess I understand their relationship to each other at face value but I still don't fully comprehend it (and maybe it is something we will not be able to fully comprehend.) When we read the scriptures and pray and go to church and all that, are we drawing closer to God or Christ or both? I know it's Christ who understands our pains and trials because of the Atonement but is it also him who heals them or is it God?

-Confused

A:

Dear Doctor,

This is obviously a confusing topic, and I've broken it down into what I feel are the two main questions that you're having.

Christ's Nature as a God

As "The Living Christ" declares, "[Christ] was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New." The Guide to the Scriptures reinforces this principle, including each of the members of the Godhead as gods. Almost all of the recorded instances of "God" speaking to people refer to Christ, acting on behalf of the Father.

Our Connection to Heavenly Father through Christ

In John 14:6, we read "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

A 1982 BYU Devotional by Elder Bruce R. McConkie helps to clarify this for us. There's too much for me to simply copy and paste, and so I highly recommend you read the talk. I'm simply going to present the doctrines that Elder McConkie does, while further elaboration and explanation is found in the devotional.

1. We worship the Father and him only and no one else.

2. We love and serve both the Father and the Son.

3. Christ himself loves, serves, and worships the Father.

4. The plan of salvation is the gospel of the Father

5. Christ worked out his own salvation by worshiping the Father.

6. All men must worship the Father in the same way Christ did in order to gain salvation.

7. The Father sent the Son to work out the infinite and eternal atonement.

8. The Son came to do the will of the Father in all things.

9. God, through Christ, is reconciling men to himself.

10. Christ is the Mediator between God and man.

11. Christ is our Intercessor with the Father, our Advocate in the courts above.

12. Our eternal fellowship is with the Father and the Son.

13. God was in Christ manifesting himself to the world.

14. Christ is the Revealer of the Father

15. Christ is the Way to the Father.

16. Christ proclaims the gospel of the Father.

17. Christ glorifies the Father and so must we.

With those concepts in mind, we can conclude that words that come from any of them come ultimately from the Father, much like the concept expressed in D&C 1:38: "Whether by my voice, or by the voice of my servants, it is the same."

Elder McConkie makes it clear that despite that, we still have different relationships with each member of the Godhead.

Our relationship with the Father is supreme, paramount, and preeminent over all others. He is the God we worship. It is his gospel that saves and exalts. He ordained and established the plan of salvation. He is the one who was once as we are now. The life he lives is eternal life, and if we are to gain this greatest of all the gifts of God, it will be because we become like him.

Our relationship with the Father is one of parent and child. He is the one who gave us our agency. It was his plan that provided for a fall and an atonement. And it is to him that we must be reconciled if we are to gain salvation. He is the one to whom we have direct access by prayer, and if there were some need—which there is not!—to single out one member of the Godhead for a special relationship, the Father, not the Son, would be the one to choose.

Our relationship with the Son is one of brother or sister in the premortal life and one of being led to the Father by him while in this mortal sphere. He is the Lord Jehovah who championed our cause before the foundations of the earth were laid. He is the God of Israel, the promised Messiah, and the Redeemer of the world.

By faith we are adopted into his family and become his children. We take upon ourselves his name, keep his commandments, and rejoice in the cleansing power of his blood. Salvation comes by him. From Creation’s dawn, as long as eternity endures, there neither has been nor will be another act of such transcendent power and import as his atoning sacrifice.

Our relationship with the Holy Spirit is quite another thing. This holy personage is a Revelator and a Sanctifier. He bears record of the Father and the Son. He dispenses spiritual gifts to the faithful. Those of us who have received the gift of the Holy Ghost have the right to his constant companionship.

As we become more like Christ, we become more like the Father, and eventually draw closer to both of them.

Because Heavenly Father is omniscient, he also knows everything that we experience. However, it is specifically through the Atonement that we are healed and how we find peace. This isn't to say that Heavenly Father is not part of the process. Rather, He is an essential part as we turn to Him in prayer to obtain healing.

Although my words may have been insufficient, I hope they will be enough to at least help you in your efforts to better understand this principle.

-Tally M.

Question #83688 posted on 09/24/2015 8:10 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What are the most fun things to do in Provo with a group of friends? By yourself?

Thanks!
Daisy

A:

Dear Daisy,

Sorry I kept your question in the inbox for... holy heck, 700 hours... but there are just SO MANY THINGS to do when you live in Provo, and I wanted to give you a thorough answer. Admittedly, I took the liberty of extending your question to the general Utah County area, so there are a few suggestions that lie beyond Provorem borders. I'm also going to kind of combine your two questions into one question. Because, really, you can do anything on this list either with friends or by yourself. You just have to be a bit more brave to do them by yourself. Here goes:

Vienna's Extensive List of Ways to Make Your Life Fun While You Live in Provo

OUTDOORS

Rock Climbing

Here is the website for The Quarry, the indoor climbing center on University Parkway. After that, here are two websites that list many sites for outdoor rock climbing in this region of Utah.

Hiking

OH MY are there places to hike in Utah! Here is a fantastic website that lists just about every hike you could possibly want or need in the nearby area. If you have no idea where to start, here is a Deseret News article listing some great options in and around Utah County.

Mountain Biking

Along the same lines, here is a list of good places to mountain bike in the Utah Valley area.

Road Biking

If you're more into road biking than mountain biking, here are some route options for cycling in Provo and Orem. Personally, I find it pretty enjoyable to just bike up Provo canyon.

Moonlight Canoeing

Yeah, this is a real thing that you can do on the Provo River, and it's awesome! Unfortunately, though, it spans from April to September so you already missed it for this year. Fortunately, you can still go on the Halloween river boat ride or the Christmas river boat ride this year. For more information on all of this, click here.

Ropes Course

The same organization that manages the canoeing also has a ropes course you can sign up for. Check it out here.

Going to the Park

If you don't feel like planning anything huge, take a day just to hang out at the park either by yourself or with friends. Here is a complete list of parks in the city of Provo. Bring along a Frisbee and some sodas and what more do you really need?

Scuba Diving

That's right! You can learn how to scuba right here in Utah County. Here is the website for North American Divers in Orem, Utah.

Fishing

Deer Creek Reservoir, Vivian Park Pond, the Provo River, and Utah Lake are all great places to fish! Here is a fishing map that will also tell you which kinds of fish you are most likely to catch in a given area.

Zip Lining

Here is the page for information on Zip Tours at Sundance Mountain Resort. It looks pretty awesome and I'm definitely adding it to my list of things to do.

Horseback Riding

Sundance also offers horseback riding through the Boulder Mountain Ranch. Here is their website. 

Mona Rope Swings

The Mona Rope Swings are an exception in that, obviously, they are in Mona which is about 40 minutes outside of Provorem. Still, they are pretty dang fun by my estimation so I'm including them anyway. Here is an article that gives some info on the swings and directions for how to get there.

Running Events

Utah is full of all sorts of running events. For an extensive list of upcoming events, click here. I've done a couple of them, and I want to put in a serious plug for the Dirty Dash. That thing is FUN. And you don't have to be a great runner to do it. You just need to love playing in the mud.

Camping

Need I say more? Link.

Skiing/Snowboarding

For skiing close to home, you'll of course head over to Sundance. However, if you really get into it, I would definitely recommend checking out some of the other fantastic ski resorts in Utah.

Snowshoeing

Check out this guide for snowshoeing tips and great places to snowshoe in Utah. I already know what I'm asking for this Christmas.

Sledding and Iceblocking

You know the drill. Find a hill. Be safe.

ACTIVITIES

Bowling

You can go to Fat Cats in Provo where the plus is that it's connected to a Costa Vida. Or you can go to Miracle Bowl in Orem where the plus is that it's cheaper, less crowded, owned by a cute old couple, and only slightly more ghetto. Or, perhaps most convenient of all, you can go bowling in the Wilkinson Center on BYU campus. You can also go bowling (as well as do a number of the following activities) at Provo Beach but since there are a kajillion things to do there, I'm going to give it it's own category.

Ice Skating & Broom Ball

Here is the schedule for the Peaks Ice Arena. As you can see, Friday night at 10PM is college night, meaning you can show up to play broom ball with a bunch of friends. Or you can show up by yourself and make some new friends. Life is full of possibilities, guys. Also, broom ball is pretty fun.

Laser Tag, Mini Golf, & Arcade Games

You can go laser tagging at Laser Assault, next to Smith's, or at Nickel City, on State Street. Laser Assault also has glow-in-the-dark mini golf, so that's a plus. But the lasers aren't as precise as the ones at Nickel City and there are no back censors at Laser Assault, which is a little annoying. The other plus of Nickel City is that, obviously, it is predominately an arcade. And don't forget, with the right attitude arcades are still pretty much as cool as they were when you were ten.

Provo Beach Resort

Here is the Provo Beach website, and here is their Facebook. You can do just about anything there. There's an indoor flowrider, laser tag, croquet, an arcade, a carousel, a ropes course, and this weird bike-like thing.

Archery

So it turns out there are actually a couple of options for archery in the area. There is an outdoor range up Provo Canyon run by the Timp Archers. There is also an indoor range at Jake's Archery where you can buy equipment and take lessons.

Rent a Tandem Bike

You can rent tandem bikes as well as about a kazillion other things at BYU's Outdoors Unlimited. Definitely something to take advantage of.

Paintball

I've never done the whole paintball thing, but I know there are people that love it. I just know from my experience laser-tagging that I would be horrible and probably just get covered in bruises. Anyway, here is a shop in Provo. Also check out their events tab if you're interested.

Provo Shooting Sports Park

This is another one of those that I have never done before. Basically shooting any type of gun terrifies me. But, for all you brave people, this is probably really fun. Check out this website for information.

Trampoline Places

For some reason the whole extreme trampoline thing seems pretty popular in Provo. Well, I shouldn't say "for some reason," because it is actually dang fun. I'm just bitter because I'm not supposed to do it thanks to my horrible back. But sometimes I do it anyway... #thuglife. Anyway, the two main extreme trampoline places in the area are Lowe's and Hang Time. Go if you haven't already! But also please remember to be safe, because I already know too many people who have been seriously injured at one of these places.

Getout Games

I haven't been able to try this yet, but I've heard really good things about it. According to their website, "Getout Games is a refreshingly new entertainment concept commonly referred to as “live escape rooms” and is the first of its kind in Utah County. These real life adventure games are designed for small groups. Each team is given 60 minutes to work together, solve puzzles, crack codes and get out!"

Heber Valley Railroad

The Heber Valley Railroad is an old, historic railroad where you can go on themed railroad rides such as the North Pole Express or the Hobo Train.

Dancing

- Country Dancing

In all honesty, I've probably gone country dancing at least 30 times. What can I say? It's fun. You can go to this place on Center Street every Wednesday or Saturday night. Or you can go for free in the Wilkinson Center (in the room next to the Ballroom) at 8:30 every Tuesday night. Don't hurt yourself, cowboys.

- Salsa Dancing

I tried salsa dancing once, too. I was terrible. Anyway, they also have salsa dancing at the Wilkinson on Tuesday nights in the Ballroom. Or you can go to that same place on Center Street where they have country dancing, because on Thursdays it's all about the salsa. Website.

East Bay Golf Course

Golfing is actually more fun than you might think. Also, it's one of the few places where plaid pants are not frowned upon, so it's an all-out win. Website.

Provo Recreation Center

Racquetball, pickleball, tennis, basketball, indoor aquatic center, pool tables, air hockey, table tennis, and an outdoor skate park. Word. Check it out here.

Puppies for Rent

You've probably all heard of this, as it has gotten increasingly popular in the last couple years. And you know why? Because puppies are awesome, that's why. If you're having a boring day, rent a puppy for an hour and it will probably get a lot less boring. That's the Puppies for Rent guarantee. (Or at least, it should be.)

Events at The Riverwoods

The Riverwoods always seems to have random events going on, such as Chalk the Block, happening this last weekend (once again, it took me a while to finish this question). Here is their website.

The Soap Factory

This place is really cool. Basically you get to go in and make your own soaps. It also seems, from their Facebook, that you can make your own chocolate there, too. I am so doing this in the near future. FAQ here.

Creativity Arts Studio

You can do all sorts of cool stuff here! Take an art class. Take a pottery class. Go in to paint ceramics. Art, yo. Website and Facebook.

Blickenstaff's Toy Store

I just think this looks like a really cool toy store. Website.

MUSIC

Velour

I have to say, there is some pretty good stuff happening at Velour. Even the open mic nights there are totally worth the 2 hours and 3 dollars you spend to go, in my opinion. You can check out their line-ups for the next month at this website.

Guru's/Muse Cafe

Another couple of places to check out live local music in Provo are Guru's (calendar here) and Muse Music Cafe (calendar here).

Rooftop Concert Series

Then, of course, there is always the well-known Rooftop Concert Series in the Summer. Of course it only spans from June to September, so you'll have to wait until next Summer if you already missed all the shows for 2015.

BYU Arts Events

And then you have a plethora of things to go see and hear through BYU itself. I've gone to probably 20 different concerts here at BYU—from student recitals to Synthesis (the jazz band) to the Harp Ensemble—and I have to say there is some really good stuff going on right here on campus. Check out their calendar here.

The Wall Events

Speaking of things happening here on campus, don't forget about everything that goes down at The Wall. They have open mic night every Tuesday, karaoke every Wednesday, and Acoustic Explosion once a month. For the full details visit their website.

ENTERTAINMENT

Comedy

- Humor U

- Comedy Sportz

- Divine Comedy

Theaters

- Echo Theater

- Hale Center Theater

- Springville Playhouse

Scera Center, Outdoor Theater & Museum

This place is pretty awesome. They have a bunch of cool plays and musicals. (In December they are doing It's a Wonderful Life: The Musical. I'm going.) The have PUPPET SHOWS (and puppetry classes).The have the Orem Heritage Museum. They have free musical firesides. They have dance classes. I'm not going to include links for each of those things, but here is the link for their website so you can explore it for yourself if you so desire.

UCCU Center Events

Sometimes stuff happens there. Idina Menzel will be there in a week so that's pretty cool. (Get it, cooool? LET IT GO! I've been working on this answer for way too long.) Website.

BYU International Cinema

I don't know much about foreign films, but I'm pretty sure they are only for really, really cool people. And you can now be one of those people. Website.

Museums

- Bean Museum

- MOA

- Planetarium

- Petrolania Museum

What the random? I'm going.

- List of other nearby museums

- Just so you know, the word museum starts to look really weird after a while.

Covey Center

Here is the calendar. Check it out!

A FINAL NOTE:

Finally, I just want to say to keep your eyes open! I'm going to finally submit this answer, but the truth is I keep finding more and more things to do in Utah County that I wish I could put on here.

Don't forget that there are a ton of great festivals in the surrounding area. Art festivals, cultural festivals, holiday festivals, the festival of colors, you name it! I went to the Scottish Festival in Payson last month and it was awesome. Then, of course there are haunted houses and corn mazes come Halloween, and a ton of exciting Christmas events come December.

There are also a whole bunch of farmers' markets that go on. (P.S. The Sundance Harvest Market is happening this Saturday.) And you can't forget about the fact that there are a ton of amazing restaurants in the area. I almost did a whole section on food, actually, but then I decided I have homework and I should probably not fail all of my classes. (Still, I will tell you that my favorite restaurant in Provo is The Black Sheep Cafe. You should all go.)

For reminders about events in the area, you can sign up for these e-mails, which will let you know about things happening in Provo in the coming week.

I guess I just want to end by saying to the BYU community at large that life is short, and your time as a young college student is even shorter. Work hard, yes. But play hard, too. Don't think that just because you live in Provo there isn't anything to do. There is ALWAYS something to do. And life is a lot better when you take advantage of even a few of the millions of opportunities that surround you.

Love,

Vienna

Question #83672 posted on 09/01/2015 10 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Are there any beds on campus?

-ZZzzZZzzZZzzZZzzZZzzZZzzZZzzZZzzZZzz

A:

Dear sleepy kitty,

Technically there are thousands of beds on campus. Between Heritage, Helaman, Wyview, and Wymont, I figure there's somewhere between 3,500-6,000 beds, give or take a few thousand. (Math is not my strong suit.)

But we don't recommend sleeping in those ones because, you know, privacy and freshmen cooties and stuff. 

Ardilla notes there are some beds in the Nursing Learning Center in the basement of the SWKT, but they are full of creepy simulator mannequin things. Divya also said that there used to be awkward leather mattresses in the Widstoe before it was torn down. Neither of these options sound too appealing. 

Luckily, there are ample bed-like accommodations around campus. In fact, I believe that anything can be a bed if you really believe in yourself and try hard enough. You might even say that in as much as the world is our campus, the campus is our bed.

With that said, there definitely are places more preferable for sleeping. A few other writers and I took it upon ourselves to venture forth and identify some of the best options, which we will present to you now. We begin our journey with...

The Simplest Choice

When you need a quick nap, your best bet is to plop down in a chair, set an alarm for 20 minutes, and check out. I'm a big fan of the library chairs if you get a foot rest, but campus is polka-dotted with a plethora of good chairs in most buildings. For example:

These chairs in the Brimhall let you nap and peek out the window periodically. 

IMG_20150826_181957312.jpg

A great example of the footrest technique in the JKB. 

IMG_20150826_174146456.jpg

If a foot rest is nowhere to be found, you can utilize multiple chairs, as modeled here by Tally M.:

tal.jpg

In case you need to fit a nap in between lesson-planning in the McKay building. 

IMG_20150826_181158513.jpg

Here we can see M.O.D.A.Q. snuggling up in the Memorial Hall on the east side of the Wilk. (You can also see my awful Photoshop skills but let's just pretend you can't.)

modaqmore.jpg


Benches: The Good

Chairs are okay for cat naps, but what if you're ready to be more committed? For that you'll have to find something more similar to the following: 

Small but convenient benches litter the basement of the JFSB...

IMG_20150826_180322253_HDR.jpg

...while these nifty things can be found in every basement corner. This is an ideal spot in theory, but it's usually filled with students and faculty sitting just far away enough from each other to leave little half-spots, too wide too ignore but too small to fit in; the wasted potential is agonizingly taunting. 

IMG_20150826_180423345.jpg

This one may require some flexibility or bodily deformation, but the good news is that benches like these are usually unoccupied due to their strange form. You can find them both in the JFSB...

IMG_20150826_175510199.jpg

...and in the JKB. 

IMG_20150826_174046778.jpg

Throughout campus, the size of the benches will vary. Most will require some creative contortions on your part...

modaq3.jpg

...unless you are Tally's size.

When combined with the bunk bed technique (as modeled by Frere Rubik below), benches can be great for group naps.

frere and tally.jpg

(The ESC is not the best for napping, but we wanted to note that there are some options for those poor science majors who live there.) 

IMG_20150826_181011144.jpg

(Not only is this not a great option, but it's suuuper public. Even I avoid it. Overall, the Board is not impressed with the Science Center's nap accommodations. 2/10 would recommend. Maybe it's best to just study in this building.)

IMG_20150826_183251037.jpg


Beds and Couches: The Better

The Honors Reading Room/Lounge is by far one of the cushiest places on campus. They probably frown upon random students coming to nap here, but really; who can resist? Just look at that corner booth and jewel-toned pillows. 

IMG_20150826_182240498.jpg

(These are technically chairs, but they look puffy and voluptuous enough that they might as well be couches. Plus, footrests.) 

IMG_20150826_182308072.jpg

This might be as bed-like as you're going to get without being surrounded by creepy nursing things or frowned upon by the public. It's really comfortable, especially if you bring a pillow like we did. The only catch is that you have to be passing through the 3rd floor of the ASB, and be a girl, as it is nestled into the entrance of the women's restroom there.

 bed.jpg

(In general, one can find couches and bed-like things in plenty of women's restrooms throughout campus. They are definitely for expectant or nursing mothers but if you act like you know what you're doing no one will know so you should probably leave them open.)  

If you're a man and need a bed, the LSB is loaded with these CouchBed things. 

modaq1.jpg

If all the CouchBeds are occupied (and they probably will be after everyone reads this answer and flocks to them), there is a wide variety of actual couches that one could rest on. As shown, they're quite a bit shorter but still provide quality comfort. 

modaq2.jpg


Bonus Round: *Literally* The Best

Under the Benson stairs, M.O.D.A.Q. enjoys the privacy and shelter from the harsh lighting. 

IMG_3585.JPG

The Benson cannot be matched in its good light-blocking nap spots.  

auto2.jpg

Turns out there are a ton of empty classrooms all around campus. I figured that I can usually fall asleep in class, so why not take it to the next level? 

IMG_3593.JPG

For those days when you want to sleep outside but don't want to lay on the grass, the skylight near the ESC is more comfortable than you would think. 

auto1.jpg

Admit it; there have been times when you've just wanted to drop to the floor and sleep.  As a sociology major, I encourage you to break free from those social constructs that suppress your true self and just do it. 

Also, those guys in the back are definitely not confused; they are just jealous of my prime nap spot. 

auto3.jpg 

Along with CouchBeds, the LSB has nice little human-sized nooks along various hallways. Plus, it was getting super stuffy walking around with a paper bag over my head, so the plant was refreshing.

plant.jpg

 

So there you have it. Now go forth and sleep! 

-Auto Surf, Tally M., M.O.D.A.Q., and Frère Rubik


This post does not necessarily reflect the beliefs or actions of all Board writers or of BYU students. The pictures included do not depict actual events. THE 100 HOUR BOARD is not responsible for missed classes, angry custodial workers, embarrassed students, or that events that may result after reading this answer. No animals, furniture, or writers were harmed in the making of this answer. Not recommended for children under twelve or those in adherence with proper codes of conduct. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to see if these beds are right for you. 
Please sleep responsibly. 

Question #83645 posted on 08/25/2015 4:55 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What's the ratio of the area of the parking lot for money-bearing customers at Seaworld to the area of the pool allocated for the whales to live their lives in decade after decade?

-Frank

A:

Dear Frank,

DID I HEAR SOMEONE ASK FOR A ROUGH APPROXIMATION?

Because that's basically what you're going to get.

---

I've never been to SeaWorld. I've seen Free Willy, though, so I had a sense that the ratio was going to be pretty big. Though I wagered I could probably find out the area of the pools for the orca whales, I wasn't as confident that the area for the parking lot would be as accessible (if any intrepid reader or writer wants to prove me otherwise using a Correction, they are, as always, free to do so). 

What did I do instead? I looked to my old friend, Google Earth.

1st.jpg

Here we have an aerial view of the park in San Diego. To clarify which parts were used for whales and which ones were used for parking, I added some lines:

2nd.jpg

(You might be wondering why I seemingly didn't include the whole parking lot. Well, the question specifically asked about the area of the parking lot that paying customers use; the parts I left out seemed to me to be employee parking places.)

Now, it's not very hard at this point to tell that there is a lot more parking space than there is whale space. But, you asked for a ratio, so we'll take things further. To make it easier to calculate the area, I filled in the outlines and put them over a grid:

3rd.jpg

Figuring out the area of each space then became as simple as counting squares (with a hearty amount of rounding and estimation for the partially filled ones):

4th.jpg

(Was there a way to calculate these areas more accurately using advanced mathematics? Almost certainly. Was I going to be doing said mathematics in one of my last days of Summer? Heck no.)

Trying to be generous, I estimated that we could only squeeze about three-and-a-half squares from the whale space, whereas the parking space contained somewhere around 150 squares. The ratio, then, is 150:3.5, or, simplified, around 43:1. Unparked cars have about 43 times as much room to roam around in as the whales do. 

You didn't ask about the ethical ramifications of this data, so I'll just leave it at that.

-Frère Rubik

posted on 08/25/2015 5:41 p.m.
Right after I finished the question, M.O.D.A.Q. messaged me on Facebook, telling me about Planimeters and informing me that there was one online that worked with Google Maps. I went to the site to recalculate the areas, but the question posted before I could correct myself. With the new calculation, I found that the parking area was around 200,000 square meters, whereas the whale area was 4,010 square meters. This puts the ratio closer to 50:1 (although I'm impressed that I got as close as I did with my rough estimates).

-Frère Rubik
Question #83593 posted on 09/14/2015 8:55 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

If there was an Ultimate Showdown Bracket of Pop Culture characters, who would be the best choices for it? Skill is not a factor- the competition is open to anyone! At least 16 characters. Rules and restrictions may apply, but probably not.

-(of Ultimate Destiny)

A:

Dear Ultimate Showdown,

"The Ultimate Showdown" thunders throughout the room, and the lights bounce off the walls and chairs of the arena. As the chorus explodes so does the stage, and from the dust and smoke appears Neil Patrick Harris singing the song with his perfect singing voice. As the chorus ends, the music fades, and all the lights gather upon the Neil Patrick Harris. As he sings competitors also explode onto stage and fights break out throughout.

After Churck Norris swings in to save the opening number, and fake blood coats most of the competitors, Neil Patrick Harris sings the final repetition of "This is the ultimate showdown of ultimate destiny!" Lights all snap onto him in the center of the stage, and the music ends. Applause thunders throughout the arena.

"What a rush! Every ultimate show like this needs an ultimate opening number. And I am your ultimate host, Neil Patrick Harris. Welcome to The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny."

Applause again erupts throughout the arena.

After NPH finally calms the crowd down, he continues with a smile, "Before the Showdown can begin, it is my responsibility to introduce you to our competitors. This masterful mass of malignants and magicians and monks were handpicked by an anonymous redhead of great authority as the most ultimate characters of all time. They come from a wide range of backgrounds, and with many of their own amazing talents. They will compete this evening in a bracket style competition, not unlike March Madness, but without the lame baskets and balls. So here they are folks!" The contestants, who were already on the stage broke their numerous poses from the opening number and began bowing and waving.

NPH's voice booms throughout the room as he introduces the competitors, "The first competitor tonight hails from his own personal skyscraper in New York City, from which he often saves the world in his own hand-made steel underwear. Tony Stark, every one!" Stark struts around the stage in his Iron Man suit waving and blowing kisses at random attractive women in the crowd. One woman faints from a well-placed wink. "Taking on the Man of Iron is the girl of brains, a little magic, and a whole lot of hair, Hermione Granger!" With the confidence and aplomb of the smartest student at Hogwarts, which she was, Hermione walks around the arena.

Neil Patrick Harris continues to introduce the contestants.  Zorro and Kvothe the Bloodless, followed by Kim Possible, and Elizabeth Bennet, Han Solo and Katara, Malcolm Reynolds and Burton "Gus" Guster, The Doctor and Inigo Montoya, Barney Stinson (much to the confusion of the crowd), and Elphaba Thropp, and finally Jay "The Great" Gatsby and Amy Farrah Fowler. Applause roars throughout the arena, welcoming the characters. 

Round 1: 

 ultimate round 1.jpg

Following a quick commercial break, the Ultimate Showdown ensues. Some of the fights are brutal, and some quite funny. Others end quickly, while others drag on for seemingly endless hours. At the end of Round One, Neil Patrick Harris returns to the stage.

"Welcome back Ladies and Gentlemen! We just finished the first round of fights, and there were several doozies. I think we were all a little surprised when Hermione Granger so quickly disarmed Tony Stark in that first fight. What a rush! However, no one was surprised when Kvothe beat Zorro in their music battle. Let's take a look at the film." All eyes turn to the jumbo-tron above, as it begins to replay the fight. 

Kvothe and Zorro eyed each other across the platform. Zorro could feel his eye twitch underneath his trademark mask. Kvothe looked on, calm, cool, and collected as he caressed the strings of his lute. Zorro strummed his Spanish guitar, menacingly, but Kvothe maintained his easy, relaxed posture. This was not so bad; this was not the crowd at the Aolian; these were not masters of music, and his opponent was certainly not on par with him.

Zorro began to play. His fingers danced across the guitar, and the guitar came to life from the touch. scurried up and down the frets, as he played the "Crack of a Whip While Chasing a Villain", and "Racing a Horse Across the California Desert." The music was incredible; the music was astounding. No such music had ever been heard by many in the arena. 

Many had not heard Kvothe play. 

At the end of Zorro's "Soliloquy to the Mask", Kvothe promptly whipped out his lute and with the ease of a lazy evening wind, coaxed the sound of the "Moon at Night" and "Riding in the Wagon with Ben" and "Beating Zorro in a Musical Duel" from its sensitive, yet willing strings. 

By the time the last note fell, from the last string played, Zorro bowed his head in respect and humble defeat to his opponent, and went to join Elena in the crowd of spectators. 

For the second time that night, the entire room had fallen silent, and a sense of reverence passed between friends and strangers alike as they felt, truly felt, the power of the music from both men. The hush ended to the roar of deafening applause, as Kvothe stood, waved, and bowed to the entire arena. 

After a few moments, the lights returned to Neil Patrick Harris, "Following this astounding performance, we saw the legendary Elizabeth Bennet take on Kim Possible in a war of words. Elizabeth seemed to have the edge, because she hails from 19th Century England, but surprisingly, Kim Possible learned more of the English language than we all thought. It would seem bantering with villains and high-school debate does sharpen the tongue. The fight was close, but Kim Possible took the win." The lights turned to Kim, who stood and waved. 

"Following the battle of wits and words, weapons took on water as Han Solo defeated Katara in another close fight. Let's see another recap:

With the sound of the buzzer, the fight began. Katara threw spears of ice at Han Solo. Han was already on the run, guns a-blazing. Red and green lights zipped from his gun and sizzled against the wall of ice Katara threw up around herself. Volleys of ice and lighter; lasers and water flew back and forth, as the two danced around the platform. 

It seemed as if it would never end, until Han Solo pulled the surprise of the century, in the form of a revolver from his gun belt. A single lead bullet hit the rope holding Katara's water pouch to her side. It flew a matter of feet away to the edge of the platform and over into the crowd. 

With the source of her power gone, Katara was forced to use the little water remaining around her in defense, but was stopped as Han rushed, grabbing her arms, and quickly disabled further movement. 

Roars of applause met Han as he took the victory.

Among the remainder of fights, Malcolm Reynolds, The Doctor, Barney Stinson, and Jay Gatsby, moved on into the next round. 

“Congratulations to all who moved on to the next round in the Ultimate Showdown. We will return to the Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny after these words from our sponsors."

Fade into the theme music and switch to commercial

*Two Rounds later*

Theme music plays as show returns from commercial break. 

“Welcome back to the show everyone. I am Neil Patrick Harris, and this is the Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny. Before we continue with the show, the producers would like to apologize for the disturbance at the end of the last fight. Donald Trump tried to break into the arena to take over the final battle and win, but luckily for everyone here, Chuck Norris came to the rescue. He is currently helping the authorities with Mr. Trump, and unfortunately will be unable to steal the win himself.”

Boos erupted from the crowd.

“A tragic turn of events, but likely to make this final battle all the more exciting. Let’s take a look at the final bracket.”

 thing.jpg

(Sorry, I can't get it any bigger)

"In the quarterfinals, Kvothe handily beat Hermione, as they went magic to magic. He avoided all of her spells with the use of his gram, and bound her wand to the ground. Kim Possible beat Han Solo with her classic martial arts skills, avoiding all of his lasers, in spite of his impeccable aim. My nemesis, Captain Hammer, err, I mean, Captain Mal of the Firefly, who is definitely not my nemesis, was utterly and completely destroyed by the Doctor. There was much rejoicing. In the final, and saddest fight of the round, Jay Gatsby attacked Barney Stinson's one weakness by throwing one of his classic parties, and giving Barney the opportunity to talk to every single woman there. Barney was so distracted he left the stadium.

"In the semi-finals we saw the fight of the gingers, as Kvothe the Bloodless took on Kim Possible. Both are experts in combat and acrobatics. They also both possess the massive persuasive powers granted to them by having red hair. The fight was close, but in the end Kvothe won by sheer charm. The second fight was between the Doctor and the Great Gatsby. The the means of their fight were a little unusual, and it came down to a staring contest between the two. After two hours and forty-seven minutes, Gatsby finally blinked, as the TARDIS came hurling into the arena directly toward him.

"The final fight is now down to Kvothe the Bloodless and the Doctor. Both of these men are known for their fierceness and cunning. They always come out of the fight on top, and they always outwit they're enemies. That will end tonight, as one of them will be defeated in this the ultimate showdown. 

The theme music rumbles through the arena as Neil Patrick Harris exits, stage left, and Kvothe and the Doctor dramatically reappear on stage. From the vantage of the viewer, both seem cool as cucumbers, but nothing could be further from the truth. The Doctor knew that his very reputation rested on this fight. What would happen if he lost? Would anyone respect him anymore? Would he ever be able to show his face to his friends again? What would the TARDIS think?

For Kvothe this fight could change everything. Perhaps this would fix all the things he broke in his world. Perhaps after tonight, there would no longer be silence. Perhaps.

The two faced one another. A little smile appeared on the Doctor's face, as often did before he engaged in particularly exciting combat, and Kvothe, returned it with a smirk of his own.

Now Kvothe needed to win, but when he looked around, he saw there was no clear strategy to win this. All around him was nothing but smooth, stage. It was a stage no man could ever win on. 

But Kvothe knew the names of all things, and so all things were his to command. He looked directly into the eye of the Doctor, for he knew more than the name of the wind. He knew the name that would save him. Before much else could happen he spoke a single word, unheard by the entire room. Before the Doctor even moved, he was stopped, by the sound of his name which played a chord on his soul. This chord on his soul held him to the ground. 

He stared in shock at the daring of brazen boy with hair like fire. There was nothing to be done. Kvothe knew his name. The battle was lost. 

Kvothe had won. 

Sincerely,
The Soulful Ginger (Did you really expect anything different? I mean really?)