Kissing is just cuddling with your lips. -Krishna
Question #76079 posted on 01/23/2014 10:14 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

If there were reason to have a shoulder-to-shoulder ring of students around campus, 24/7, how long would shifts have to be?

-Mecheng

A:

Dear Mecheng,

It depends. You would need about 5,280 people to make a ring around the "main" part of campus. If you counted campus as all the buildings that belong to BYU, you would need about 10,560 people. Let me show you the calculations:

Here is a picture in Google Earth where I made a path around "main" campus and calculated how long it was (about 2 miles).

 AreaAroundCampus.jpg

Here is another picture where I included all the buildings owned by BYU (notice that I included the MTC because I think it is technically on BYU campus. You could argue that I should have removed it, but really it won't make much of a difference). The path around it is much larger, about 4.4 miles.

AreaAroundCampus2.jpg 

Now, I researched the average shoulder width of a person. There were varying sources, but it seemed that the average non-athletic male had 18-19 inch shoulders, while those who work out could have shoulder widths of around 20 inches or more, and women had 16-17 inch shoulders. I am going to approximate and say that the average BYU student has 18 inch shoulders. I'm also going to add an extra 6 inches per person, since we don't want to be literally smashed into the people next to us. That gives us enough buffer space to move our hands and arms around. So that's a total of 24 inches per person, or two feet. A simple calculation then gives 5,280 people in the ring around main campus and 11,600 people in the ring around all of campus.

As for shifts, I'm not exactly sure what you are asking. How long would shifts have to be in order to what? Theoretically, you could get 5,280 students to stand there until the millennium, and no shifts would be needed. At the same time, you could have the same 5,280 students stand there for a week and then call it quits and dissolve the ring, and there still would only have been one shift. There is no reason a shift has to be a specific length. I'm going to make up a question and ask, "If we wanted every student to be there once in a 24 hour period, how long would they have to be there?" BYU hasn't published statistics for how many students are here right now during Winter 2014 semester, but I'm going to estimate 30,000 students based on recent history. With 30,000 students and 5,280 students in the ring, we have about 5.6 shifts that we can use, and in 24 hours that's about 4 hours and 15 minutes per shift.

With these numbers, you should be able to calculate for yourself if you wanted to try different scenarios, give different amounts of buffer space, or redefine "campus" as you want.

-Ozymandias

Question #75935 posted on 01/25/2014 1:08 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How does cutting and other types of self-injury compare with other addictions? Can cutting become a true physical addiction in the same way as drugs and alcohol? How does it affect brain chemistry?

-Morbidly Curious

A:

Dear Curious,

Those are all great questions. Whether or not non-suicidal self injury (NSSI) can be considered on par with substance addiction has been a subject of debate in the mental health field. 

The abstract of a recent study on this very topic explains: 

...Some argue that NSSI is best viewed within an addictions framework. Because craving of substances is a key concept in the addictions literature, we sought to compare the nature of craving in NSSI and substance use. Measures of NSSI, substance use, and craving were administered to a sample of adolescents (n = 58) receiving psychiatric treatment. It was found that total craving scores were significantly lower for NSSI than for substances. Item-level analyses suggested that substances are craved in a variety of contexts, whereas NSSI is typically craved in the context of negative emotions. The pattern of results remained the same when analyses were limited to patients who engaged in both NSSI and substance use. Thus, findings appear to be due to differences in the nature of the behaviors themselves rather than to individual differences between those who engage in NSSI or use substances. We conclude that, while both behaviors have powerful reinforcement contingencies, NSSI appears to be almost exclusively maintained by negative reinforcement (e.g., the reduction of aversive emotions). Findings are more consistent with emotion regulation than addiction models of NSSI.1

In other words, their study compared NSSI with substance use in terms of craving, which is a significant component of the addiction model. The study found that in terms of craving, NSSI actually looks quite a bit different than substance use. Substance users crave the substances that they are addicted to across a wide variety of contexts--perhaps regardless of context. Those who self-injure, on the other hand, generally craved self-injury in one single context--when the person is experiencing negative emotions. 

That being said, many of the aspects of NSSI do fit into the addiction model. Addiction refers most generally to a loss of control. Loss of control in this context can be understood in a number of ways--first, the person may engage in addictive and/or self-harming behaviors because they are experiencing a loss of control in their lives. They feel that they are unable to influence the outside world, and are instead trapped and pushed around by forces beyond their control. They may also feel that they have lost control of their own minds, or lost their sense of self. Using mind-altering substances or self-harming can be a way of exerting control over some aspect of their life, as well as a way to elicit feelings or pain that will "wake them up" from a feeling of numbness, apathy or lack of control. 

Loss of control can also refer to the fact that engaging in addictive behaviors can cause the person to lose control over that behavior--in other words, they become addicted to that behavior. They crave it so badly that they need that addiction just to be able to cope. 

It is interesting to note that substance addiction and NSSI are often comorbid, meaning that they occur together. Many people who self-injure also engage in substance(s) abuse, and vice versa. This occurs especially frequently when it comes to individuals with borderline personality disorder. According to an addiction treatment specialist with whom I consulted for this question, borderline personality disorder is the number one overall diagnosis in cases of self-harm. Borderline personality disorder is also highly correlated with substance addiction. 

As for how NSSI affects brain chemistry, we actually know quite a bit less about how addiction (and mental illness in general) affects the brain than we think we do. This is not to say that we haven't done a lot of research about it--we have. It's simply a commentary on the complexity of the brain and the inherent correlation/causation problem that exists in that line of research. I did find one study that addressed how NSSI may affect the brain: 

...Participants with NSSI showed decreased activity in correlation to arousal in the occipital cortex and to valence in inferior frontal cortex when watching emotional pictures. The fMRI data support the notion that individuals with NSSI show an altered neural pattern for emotional and NSSI pictures. Behavioural data highlight proneness to excitement regarding NSSI topics. This fMRI study provides evidence for emotion-regulation deficits in the developing brain of adolescents with NSSI.2

Addiction is one of my favorite areas of research and treatment, so thanks for asking about it!

-Divya

1. Victor, S.E., Glenn, C.R., Klonsky, E.D. (2012). Is non-suicidal self-injury an "addiction"? A comparison of craving substance use and non-suicidal self-injury. Psychiatric Research, 197(1-2), 73-77. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2011.12.011

2. Plener, P. L., Bubalo, N., Fladung, A. K., Ludolph, A. G., & Lulé, D. (2012). Prone to excitement: Adolescent females with non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) show altered cortical pattern to emotional and NSS-related material. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 203(2-3), 146-152. doi:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2011.12.012

Question #75766 posted on 01/11/2014 7:24 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

If all players on college football teams were suddenly transformed into the animal or human represented by their team mascots (though they all retain their same human intelligence) what would the championship game look like? How would the BYU cougars do? How about the Tulane green wave (whatever that is)? Let's say that killing/maiming the other team isn't a legal option.

- Rating Pending (who is guessing a lot of team's throwing games are going to suffer)

A:

Dear Rating Pending,

Did you know that there are 114 teams in the NCAA Division I, Football Bowl Subdivision Conferences for the 2013 season? I do now!

I found all the teams here and I retrieved information for each school team from their respective Wikipedia pages (I would cite them, but I think I would break the Board!) All teams were magically turned into their schools' official mascot and remained the same size as their species normally would, meaning that larger animals didn't shrink and smaller animals didn't grow. 

Round One

American Athletic Conference:

Temple University Owls vs. University of Connecticut Huskies
Just by looks, it's easy to see who the winner of this match will be. While the Owls are cute, their tiny beak and feet make it impossible for them to move the ball down the field and their lack of arms means that there is no way for them to throw the ball down the field. The Huskies are able to pick up the ball with their teeth and run down the field, easily avoiding their opponents. 
Winner: University of Connecticut Huskies 

University of Memphis Tigers vs. University of Central Florida Knights
Not only do the Tigers look intimidating, but their large mouths and agility allow them to quickly maneuver the ball to the end zone. The Knights are one of the few teams with hands but their bulky armor limits their range of motion and makes it incredibly difficult to run. 
Winner: University of Memphis Tigers 

University of South Florida Bulls vs. University of Houston Cougars
While the Bulls may be bigger, they're not as nimble as the Cougars. Additionally, the Cougars' front paws can act somewhat like an arm, manipulating the ball into an easier position to grab. 
Winner: University of Houston Cougars 

University of Louisville Cardinals vs. University of Cincinnati Bearcats
Both of these teams won't last long in the tournament. The Cardinals are tiny birds who share the same problem as the Owls (tiny beaks and feet, no arms) while the Bearcats are slow moving. The Bearcats win this round just because they're actually able to move the ball down the field. 
Winner: University of Cincinnati Bearcats

Rutgers University Scarlet Knights vs. Southern Methodist University Mustangs 
While they may be known as the Mustangs, Southern Methodist University's official mascot is a shetland pony. That's right, their mascot is the short, baby-sized horse. While they are still a breed of horse, they're no where near as quick as a mustang. However, the Knights would have trouble running in their armor and probably wouldn't be able to throw or catch a ball. Because they're able to actually move around, the Ponies live to see another round. 
Winner: Southern Methodist University Mustangs 

Big 12:

Kansas State University Wildcats vs. Texas Christian University Horned Frogs
Note to self: Don't pick a horned frog as a mascot. Somebody on the Internet may judge you for it one day. 
Winner: no contest, Kansas State Wildcats

West Virginia University Mountaineers vs. Baylor University Bears
Ah, the first game that I actually have to think about. The Mountaineers have a few things going for them. Since they're people, they have arms and can throw. The Bears wouldn't be able to throw like the Mountaineers can, but they can definitely scoop toss the ball to each other. They would be faster in running, but slower at the start since they would be bigger and heavier. While the Bears may seem more intimidating, the fact that the Mountaineers can throw the ball down the field gives them a huge advantage.
Winner: West Virginia Mountaineers

University of Oklahoma Sooners vs. University of Kansas Jayhawks
They may call themselves Sooners but Oklahoma's official mascot is actually a pair of horses. Their ability to gallop around and pick up the ball overcomes their lack of being able to throw the ball. The Jayhawks, which is a bluejay and sparrow hybrid, may be able to outfly them but have no true advantage in a game of football.
Winner: University of Oklahoma Sooners 

Iowa State University Cylones vs. Texas Tech University Red Raiders
I think we can all agree by now that birds do not make good football players. Since the Cyclones' mascot is actually a cardinal, the Raiders' would easily overcome them.
Winner: Texas Tech Raiders

Oklahoma State University Cowboys vs. University of Texas at Austin Longhorns
I had to poll the family for this match up. Cowboy supporters argued that their ability to throw the ball and that they could probably lasso the Longhorns (since it wouldn't be hurting them) would give them a winning advantage. Longhorn supporters countered with the fact that their giant horns could be used to block their opponents and that being lassoed would be some type of technicality. After both cases were presented, the Cowboys won the vote, 3-2.
Winner: Oklahoma State Cowboys 

Sun Belt:

Troy University Trojans vs. University of Louisiana at Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns
The line above should read 'Trained Warriors vs. Cayenne Peppers'.
Winner: Troy University Trojans for obvious reasons

Arkansas State University Red Wolves vs. University of South Alabama Jaguars
These teams have similar qualities, including in their speed. The Jaguars would be stronger and bigger, but the Wolves, being pack animals, would work together better. Since teamwork is important in team sports (and having nothing to do with the fact that dogs are better than cats), Wolves win!
Winner: Arkansas State Red Wolves 

Georgia State University Panthers vs. University of Texas at Arlington Mavericks
Seeing as how the Mavericks' mascot is a horse, I'm thinking they would win this one. They would be faster and have a longer stride. They could also just jump over their opponents or, in my mind, continue running if they were tackled by a Panther. 
Winner: University of Texas at Arlington Mavericks 

University of Louisiana at Monroe Warhawks vs. Texas State University Bobcats
Okay so a Warhawk is totally different than a cardinal or other weakling bird. They actually have talons that they could use to lift things up. I'm torn on this one because I feel like the NCAA Animal Division would implement some type of stipulation for flying because birds of prey would totally wipe out just about any team. But, for now, no such rules exist. 
Winner: University of Louisiana at Monroe Warhawks

University of Arkansas at Little Rock Trojans vs. Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers
Western Kentucky's mascot is a red...thing. It's just a red blob. Unless it has a superpower I'm not aware of, I'm feeling the Trojans on this one.
Winner: University of Arkansas at Little Rock Trojans 

Big 10:

University of Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Purdue University Boilermakers
Purdue's mascot is a train. Minnesota's is a gopher. It's a round of 'Which one would lose better?' and the answer to that would be the Gophers, because they would actually be able to control the ball. 
Winner: University of Minnesota Golden Gophers 

Indiana University Hoosiers vs. University of Nebraska Cornhuskers
Apparently Indiana University doesn't have a mascot so the Cornhuskers win by default.
Winner: University of Nebraska Cornhuskers

Pennsylvania State University Nittany Lions vs. University of Michigan Wolverines 
Another default win since the University of Michigan doesn't have a mascot either!
Winner: Penn State Nittany Lions

Ohio State University Buckeyes vs. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Fighting Illini 
Okay, what is with the Big 10 teams and not having mascots?! Another default win in favor of the Buckeyes. For those at home wondering what a buckeye is, it's a NUT. That's right, a nut just won a fake football game. 
Winner: Ohio State Buckeyes

University of Iowa Hawkeyes vs. University of Wisconsin Badgers
Another bird of prey wiping the field with their opponent. It's too bad since I was rooting for the Hufflepuff Wisconsin Badgers. 
Winner: University of Iowa Hawkeyes 

Michigan State University Spartans vs. Northwestern University Wildcats
If a team has a throwing ability, they essentially win the round. The Spartans wouldn't be as fast, but they still have a good shot at winning. 
Winner: Michigan State Spartans 

Atlantic Coast Conference:

University of Maryland, College Park Terrapins vs. North Carolina State University Wolfpack  
Since Maryland's mascot is a turtle, it's pretty obvious who would win a game. 
Winner: North Carolina State Wolfpack

University of Virginia Cavaliers vs. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Hokies
Cavaliers remind me of a less equipped version of a musketeer. A Hokie is a bird that, in my opinion, looks similar to a chicken. We all know how birds do in this game. 
Winner: University of Virginia Cavaliers 

Georgia Institute of Technology Yellow Jackets vs. Duke University Blue Devils
On the up side, the Yellow Jackets can fly, which is typically a great sign. On the down side, there is no way for them to carry the ball down the field. The Blue Devils would be able to pass it around. They could possibly also have another evil scheme up their sleeve, but I don't think it would be necessary while battling insects. 
Winner: Duke Blue Devils

University of Pittsburgh Panthers vs. University of Miami Hurricanes
So the Panthers have the same abilities as all the other big cats. The University of Miami's mascot is an ibis. I was having trouble deciding if the Ibises would be able to outfly the Panthers since they're so tiny. I think the Panthers would take this one due to the small size of the Ibises. I also imagine it would be somewhat painful for the Ibises to fly with a football in their beak. 
Winner: University of Pittsburgh Panthers 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Tar Heels vs. Syracuse University Orange
UNC's mascot is a ram while Syracuse's is a fruit. Of all the possible mascots for a team, I wonder why an orange was picked. 
Winner: UNC Tar Heels

Clemson University Tigers vs. Wake Forest University Demon Deacons
This is another one I'm torn between. Yes, the Deacons would be able to throw but the Tigers can jump and they can run pretty fast. I'm thinking that those abilities in addition to it being difficult to effectively tackle a Tiger would lead them to victory.
Winner: Clemson Tigers 

Boston College Eagles vs.Florida State University Seminoles 
The NCAA doesn't like having college mascots that are Native Americans for a variety of reasons but Florida State is one of the exceptions (more about that can be found here). However, FSU tries to be respectful so they don't call their Seminole and his horse companion mascots, but rather 'symbols'. Since they're technically not mascots (and it makes my life a little easier), Boston wins by default. 
Winner: Boston College Eagles 

Conference USA:

Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raiders vs. East Carolina University Pirates
In one corner we have the Blue Raider Horses, which are built like...horses. Strong, fast, and how they will be able to avoid being tackled by jumping will propel them past the Pirates, who probably have bad hand-eye coordination from all those eye patches anyway. 
Winner: Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

Marshall University Thundering Herd vs. University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers
Bison vs. DRAGONS. A REAL, FIRE-BREATHING DRAGONS. They win due to their sheer awesomeness.
Winner: University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers 

University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles vs. Rice University Owls
As previously stated, the Owls would struggle due to their small feet while the Eagles would fly in circles around them. 
Winner: University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles 

Tulane University Green Wave vs. Florida Atlantic University Burrowing Owl 
Like other universities that go by weird nicknames, Tulane's mascot is actually a pelican. Owls and other birds with tiny feet/claws don't do well in this game. While the Pelican's feet are webbed, they could hold the ball in their giant beak.
Winner: Tulane Green Wave 

University of Texas at El Paso Miners vs. University of Tulsa Golden Hurricanes 
I didn't think anything could have gotten better than a fire-breathing dragon, but a superhero comes pretty close! Conference USA definitely wins the award for the greatest mascots. The Superheroes would dominate a game against the Miners. 
Winner: University of Tulsa Golden Hurricanes 

Louisiana Tech University Bulldogs vs.  University of North Texas Mean Green
The Mean Green Eagles would win this game. The Bulldogs essentially do themselves in since they can't run very fast and easily tire. Also, flying typically means domination. 
Winner:  University of North Texas Mean Green

Florida International University Panthers vs. University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners
While they would be super speedy, the Roadrunners would be creamed by the Tigers since I think they would have a difficult time picking up the ball.
Winner: Florida International University Panthers 

SEC:

Texas A&M University Aggies vs. Vanderbilt University Commodores
The Aggies will be represented by the Border Collies. While they're cute and adorable, they don't stand a chance against the Commodores since they can throw the ball down the field. 
Winner: Vanderbilt Commodores 

Auburn University Tigers vs. University of Florida Gators
Two, strong teams battling for victory. Both are equally ferocious but the Tigers are quicker and can make their way down the field easier than their reptile opponents. 
Winner: Auburn Tigers 

University of Tennessee Volunteers vs. Mississippi State University Bulldogs
I've never realized that the Vols mascot is actually a coonhound. Interesting. Anyway, the Bulldogs would have trouble running due to their short, stubby legs so the Coonhounds take this one!
Winner: University of Tennessee Volunteers 

University of South Carolina Gamecocks vs. University of Mississippi Rebels
Almost due to the sheer height difference, the Mississippi Rebel Black Bears would easily win in a game against a brood of roosters. The Gamecocks, being birds, would suffer the same fate as their other chicken-y friends.
Winner: University of Mississippi Rebels 

University of Missouri Tigers vs. University of Alabama Crimson Tide
At first, I decided that the Crimson Tide Elephants would lose against the Tigers. But I started thinking about it and I realized that they might actually have a chance. They could pick the ball up with their trunks and hold it up high and they could throw it to each other. I'm giving it to Alabama. 
Winner: University of Alabama Crimson Tide

Louisiana State University Fighting Tigers vs. University of Arkansas Razorbacks
Okay, so Arkansas is represented by russian boars. In addition to looking absolutely terrifying, these things are as big as a house and are pretty fast. While they can't jump as high as the Tigers, the pure ferociousness of them puts them ahead of the Tigers.
Winner: University of Arkansas Razorbacks

University of Georgia Bulldogs vs. University of Kentucky Wildcats
Seeing the track record of teams consisting of bulldogs and winning streak of big cats, Wildcats take the lead. 
Winner: University of Kentucky Wildcats 

Mid-American Conference:

Western Michigan University Broncos vs. Eastern Michigan University Eagles
East vs. West. Only one shall survive. The Eagles will easily take this one since they can soar up above the Broncos, keeping the ball away. 
Winner: Eastern Michigan University Eagles

Ohio University Bobcats vs. University of Toledo Rockets
I was expecting Toledo to replace the Rockets with some type of animal like the other schools did, but alas, no. Since the Rockets won't be able to control the ball, the Bobcats win. 
Winner: Ohio University Bobcats

Northern Illinois University Huskies vs. Central Michigan University Chippewas
No official mascot for Central Michigan means that the Huskies win.
Winner: Northern Illinois University Huskies

Ball State University Cardinals vs. Miami University RedHawks
Another team of cardinals? No need to explain this one!
Winner: Miami University RedHawks

University at Buffalo Bulls vs. Kent State University Golden Flashes
The Golden Eagles would take football to a new height. While the Bulls would put up a good fight, there is no way they can compete against the flying Golden Eagles.
Winner: Kent State Golden Flashes

Bowling Green State University Falcons vs. University of Akron Zips 
Akron gets points for having a mascot we haven't encountered yet: a kangaroo! The Kangaroos would bounce all around the field, easily swatting away at the Falcons that may fly overhead. They could also store the ball in their pouches, making it an easy and safe way to score touchdowns. 
Winner: University of Akron Zips 

Pac 12:

University of California Berkeley Golden Bears vs. Stanford University Cardinal 
Seeing as how Stanford Tree is both a plant and an unofficial mascot, Bears win!
Winner: UC Berkeley Golden Bears

University of Arizona Wildcats vs. University of Southern California Trojans
Wildcats need to get their heads in the game if they want to have a shot at winning. While they may be called the Trojans, their true mascot is a horse. Similar to the throw down between Georgia State and University of Texas at Arlington, the Horses will overpower the Wildcats and take the lead.
Winner: University of SoCal Trojans

Arizona State University Sun Devils vs. University of California, Los Angeles Bruins
Using the precedent set from West Virginia vs. Baylor, the Sun Devils win.
Winner: Arizona State University Sun Devils

University of Oregon Ducks vs. Washington State University Cougars
This one is self-explanatory, but I think a team of ducks in football uniforms would be one of the cutest things ever. 
Winner: Washington State Cougars

University of Utah Utes vs. University of Colorado Buffalo
Wow, half of the games from this conference are repeated match ups! The Utes mascot is a red tailed hawk, so just like the University of Buffalo vs. Kent State, Utah wins.
Winner: University of Utah Utes 

Oregon State University Beavers vs. University of Washington Huskies
I'm not sure what the Beavers would do on a football field. Their tails can be used to smack the balls around but they're definitely in the Top 5 Worst Football Teams. 
Winner: University of Washington Huskies

Independents:

Army Black Knights vs. Brigham Young University Cougars
Throwback to one of the first games- Memphis Tigers vs. Florida Knights! As stated before, the Knights will be slow moving and their armor will limit their range of motion. The Cougars will have no problem with this game.
Winner: BYU Cougars

Navy Midshipmen vs. University of Idaho Vandals 
I was really hoping that Idaho's mascot would be a potato, but it's actually a Viking. So we have a team of Navy officers against a team of Vikings. Both have similar qualities and close to equal strengths. The Midshipmen have better training and would probably be faster but the Vikings would be stronger. I'm thinking the Midshipmen have this one. 
Winner: Navy Midshipmen 

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. New Mexico State University Aggies
This would be an interesting match to see! Seeing as how the football would be bigger than the Leprechauns, they would have a lot of trouble doing anything. On the other hand, the Cowboys would be able to play an actual game of football. 
Winner: New Mexico State University Aggies
 

Round Two

I was going to randomly pair teams up again, but there are quite a few animal repeats and most Conferences had a clear winner. 

American Athletic Conference:
Teams: U of Connecticut Huskies, U of Memphis Tigers, U of Houston Cougars, U of Cincinnati Bearcats, Southern Methodist University Mustangs/ Shetland Ponies
It really comes down to the Tigers or the Cougars. Seeing as how the Tigers would be bigger and stronger, they would pull out ahead of the Cougars. 
Champion: U of Memphis Tigers

Big 12:
Teams: Kansas State Wildcats, West Virginia Mountaineers, U of Oklahoma Sooners/Horses, Texas Tech Raiders, Oklahoma State Cowboys
All of the teams are wiped out by the Oklahoma Sooners. The Wildcats may be able to get close to their speed, the Sooners will be stronger and would have an easier time keeping the ball away from other teams. 
Champion: U of Oklahoma Sooners/Horses 

Sun Belt:
Teams: Troy University Trojans, Arkansas State Red Wolves, U of Texas at Arlington Mavericks/Horses, U of Louisiana at Monroe Warhawks, U of Arkansas at Little Rock Trojans
Again it comes down to two teams: Arlington Mavericks/Horses and the Monroe Warhawks. Both have their own strengths that would wipe out just about any other team, but the Warhawks would easily take the game since they can fly.
Champion: U of Louisiana at Monroe Warhawks 

Big 10:
Teams: U of Minnesota Golden Gophers, U of Nebraska Cornhuskers, Penn State Lions, Ohio State Buckeyes, U of Iowa Hawkeyes, Michigan State Spartans
This was probably the worst Conference mascot-wise since half of the matches were default wins. I think the Hawkeyes would win for the same reason posted above for the Warhawks.
Champion: U of Iowa Hawkeyes 

Atlantic Coast Conference:
Teams: North Carolina State Wolfpack, U of Virginia Cavaliers, Duke Blue Devils, U of Pittsburgh Panthers, UNC Tar Heels/Rams, Clemson Tigers, Boston College Eagles
This one would be quite an intense showdown! Panthers, Wolfpack, and Tigers...oh my! While they each would put up a good fight, the Eagles would easily win.
Champion: Boston College Eagles 

Conference USA:
Teams: Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders/Horses, U of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers/Dragons, U of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles, Tulane Green Wave/Pelicans, U of Tulsa Golden Hurricanes/Superheroes, U of North Texas Mean Green/Eagles, Florida International University Panthers
This would be one of the most epic showdowns of all time. Just picture all seven teams in this giant dome, duking it out for victory. It would be complete madness! This one comes down to the Dragons or the Superheroes. While the Dragons may be amazing, the Superheroes would probably win. 
Champion: U of Tulsa Golden Hurricanes/Superheroes 

SEC:
Teams: Vanderbilt Commodores, Auburn Tigers, U of Tennessee Vols/Coondogs, U of Mississippi Rebels/Black Bears, U of Missouri Tigers, University of Alabama Crimson Tide/Elephants, U of Arkansas Razorbacks, U of Kentucky Wildcats 
Another tough Conference! I think I would actually watch a football game if they were played by mascots. So much more entertaining. For the champion here, I'm thinking the Elephants would rock it out. They're the biggest competitors and they could plow through anyone in their way.
Champion: Alabama Crimson Tide/Elephants 

Mid-American Conference:
Teams: Eastern Michigan University Eagles, Ohio University Bobcats, Northern Illinois University Huskies, Miami University RedHawks, Kent State Golden Flashes/Eagles, U of Akron Zips/Kangaroos
This was an interesting group since there were three birds of prey. I consulted the Great Wikipedia and discovered that the Eagles would be significantly bigger than the RedHawks so that narrows it down to Eastern Michigan and Kent State. Since they're the same animal, we go to the coin flip. And the win goes to...Eastern Michigan!
Champion: Eastern Michigan Eagles 

Pac-12:
Teams: UC Berkeley Golden Bears, University of SoCal Trojans/Horses, Arizona State University Sun Devils, Washington State Cougars, U of U Utes/Red Tail Hawks, University of Washington Huskies
Until there are rules against flying while playing, Red Tail Hawks dominate the field. 
Champion: U of U Utes/Red Tail Hawks

Independents:
Teams: BYU Cougars, Navy Midshipmen, New Mexico State University Aggies/Cowboys
Both the Midshipmen and the Cowboys would have the upper hand in passing the ball but their speed and agility can't beat that of the Cougs. 
Champion: BYU Cougars

I was going to do a Round Three for the Champion of Champions, but it would be quite dull seeing as how the teams that can fly just wipe out any competitor they encounter. It would be a more interesting match if the rules of the game were changed a little to make it a little more fair, like stipulations on a length of flight or more team members for smaller animal teams. Or a game of Ultimate Frisbee...that would be a sight to see.

-Ms.O'Malley

Question #75651 posted on 12/21/2013 4:18 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

If I were to propose to (insert your name here), how would I do it?

-Prince Charming

A:

Dear Prince Charming

Based on what I know about each writer, I've devised different ways you might successfully propose to them. Ask for their hand in marriage at your own risk, however, since I wrote most of this without consulting anyone: 

If you were to propose to Stego Lily, you would do it after a long day of rock climbing (preferably like Half dome or something awesome) and then you would whip out a ukulele, sing a handwritten ballad and then present her with a ring-- but not a diamond ring. Like an emerald or something on a wooden band. Something hippie-ish and unique. 

If you were to propose to Tally M, you would do it after taking her out to eat, and then to the set of a Dr. Who episode, where you would both be extras. As soon as they called cut, you would kneel down and give her a ring and quote some obscure Dr. Who reference. 

If you were to propose to Concealocanth, you would need to be wearing fancy pants, you would need dark hair and dark eyes, and you would need to do it in Russian while quoting Tolstoy after a romantic but classy as heck dinner. It would be snowing lightly and there would be soft instrumental music in the background. Maybe white Christmas lights? 

If you were to propose to MSJ, you would need to be devilishly handsome, as well as a total rogue. You would need to bodily sweep her off her feet, chuck her on a horse and go careening off into the distance together. You wouldn't explicitly ask her to marry you, you would just use your manly ways to sort of assume that she digs the idea (which she does, of course).

If you were to propose to Anne, Certainly, it would need to be as romantic as all get out, without being stuffy. You would go on some sort of scavenger hunt in a foreign city that you happen to know really well, complete with a nice dinner on a rooftop somewhere, preceded by romantic waltzing. There would be lots of kissing and seductive posing involved because Anne would have predicted it and hired a photographer to capture the proposal. 

If you to propose to Squirrel, you would need to trek to the farthest reaches of the Amazon, find a one-of-a-kind flower that spreads world peace or something, carefully preserve it and keep it alive and then present it to her, with a ring in the middle of it or something. The setting would need to look like ivy or flowers and you would need to shower her with various plant seeds. Gently of course- don't just chuck them in her face. 

If you were to propose to Owlet, you would need to commission about a dozen pieces of art of just the two of you from various internet artists around the world. Then you would create a romantic collage of them and pop the question. The two of you would then create a lovely artistic rendering of the proposal and your future life together. 

If you were to propose to yayfulness you would need to be a girl and then you would need to present him with some sort of elaborate geographical map with lots of data. Alternative idea: Bring him a pinata globe and make him break it open to find the ring inside. Con: The ring might go flying and never be found again and then he might not know that it was even supposed to be a proposal. 

If you were to propose to TEN, you would need to do so in a scienc-y setting and drop some seriously witty lines. You would pretend you were doing some science experiment. You would have colored fluid in one beaker with a ring at the bottom that reacts with fluid in another beaker that together causes the fluids to turn clear. You would hand the beaker without the ring to TEN and have her combine them and VOILA RING IN THE BEAKER. Pop the question. 

If you were to propose to Azriel you would need to schedule a hot air balloon ride and err on the side of non sappiness. Be simple and present her with either an opal or emerald ring in yellow gold as you sail above the mountains. You might even give her a kitten. I hear she likes cats. 

If you were to propose to Ace, you would need to get courtside seats at a Laker's playoff game and arrange it so that you get to propose to her during halftime in front of the entire stadium. The ring would be balanced on the rim and you would hand her a basketball signed by all of the players and she would need to sink a shot to knock the ring off of the rim and into your waiting hands. Right on cue, you would drop to a knee and ask her to marry you and the fans would go nuts. You would keep the basketball, of course. 

If you were to propose to Divya, you would need to take her to India to the set of a Bollywood film, where you both would be extras. Afterwards, you'd go out for a lovely dinner and end the evening with some ballroom dancing, at which point you'd kneel down and ask her to marry you in Hindi. She would hopefully say "hāṁ."

If you to propose to Maven, Genuine Article, Laser Jock, Yog in Neverland, or Tootles, you would need to fight off their spouse first and wait a respectable amount of time before attempting to marry them.

And there you have it! Now you know how to propose to almost all the writers on the Board! 

-Concorde

Question #75578 posted on 12/19/2013 9:36 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I have a friend who is Catholic and gay. He is extremely faithful in his religion and is comfortable with his homosexuality, and he believes that the two can be balanced. He knows that God loves him, even if he dates other men. He thinks that love is beautiful and marriage is gorgeous and children are wonderful.

So whenever the subject comes up, it's impossible for me to look at him and tell him that his homosexuality, which is a part of him, is considered a trial that he has to overcome. Or that marriage, which he finds so incredibly gorgeous, is something he can't have. Or that children, who he could teach and love so much, can't be his to raise.

I want to say, "It's okay for you to be gay, just follow your heart and be true to yourself,"
I want to say, "I hope you can find someone who loves you and makes you happy,"
I want to say, "You would be such a great father, I hope you can adopt kids,"

But I feel like if I try to respect and support him and his desire to get married and adopt children, I am deviating from the beliefs of the gospel.
But I also feel like if I stay true to my religious beliefs, I sound rude and closed minded and self righteous and even pessimistic.

How do I balance my religion and my desire to be accepting?

I just feel like when I say, "I don't really believe in gay marriage or gay adoption, but you're still a good person and God loves you, even though you struggle with this," it sounds like, "Since you're gay, you can never enjoy the happiness that comes through marriage or child raising. But don't worry; you're a good person, even though a central part of your character and personality is actually a flaw, and you should suppress it and try to be someone you aren't."

Do you have any advice? Resources? Personal experiences? Different perspectives? (I've already looked at mormonsandgays.org...)

-Still not sure what I stand for

A:

Dear Unsure,

First of all, there are many other writers here who are much better at answering questions like this, but I wanted to throw in my two cents. It seemed like there were several implied questions around your fundamental question on balance, so I'm going to try to answer them separately. I guess this answer falls under the category of "different perspectives."

How to Talk to Your Friend

One of the first things you mentioned was feeling conflicted about how to talk to your friend. I don't think if you believe gay marriage is wrong, you are obligated to preach to people who feel differently. If it makes you uncomfortable to point out your beliefs on this topic to him, just don't. There are plenty of actions we as Latter-day Saints believe are wrong that other people chose to do anyway, but that doesn't mean we go around calling everyone at Starbucks to repentance. We can be friends with people who may not entirely share our religious views. Being friends with this person doesn't make you a bad Latter-day Saint, it makes you a good one. 

However, this advice does contain a disclaimer. If your friend is saying or doing something that makes you feel uncomfortable or causes you to move away from the Savior, you should prayerfully consider ending your relationship with him. That doesn't mean you love him any less, but you must recognize and protect yourself from influences that move you away from Jesus Christ. Note that this is not a violation of the Savior's command to "judge not" (Matthew 7:1) because the apostles have taught us that there is a distinction between intermediate judgement (judging someone's influence on you) and final judgment (assuming that someone will never change). For more information on righteous judgment, you should read this great article by Elder Dallin H. Oaks.

The tone of your question makes me think this isn't the case, but if the cause of your concern is that you feel you need to share the Gospel with your friend, remember that the best way is typically a positive approach as opposed to a negative one. For example, the following would be an incorrect way to share the Gospel sitting in Starbucks: "You know, in my church, (insert significant look at cup of coffee) we know that drinking coffee is wrong. (insert judgmental look at nearest patron) You're probably condemning yourself to eternal torment right now."

Instead, we focus on the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and then help people make changes in their lives once they understand the need. President Uchtdorf pointed this out in the most recent General Conference: "Some might say, 'I don’t think I could live up to your standards.' All the more reason to come! The Church is designed to nourish the imperfect, the struggling, and the exhausted. It is filled with people who desire with all their heart to keep the commandments, even if they haven’t mastered them yet" ("Come, Join with Us," October 2013).

If your friend asks you for your opinion, tell him honestly what it is. If he's really your friend, he should respect that you're trying to work it out on your own. If you disagree with gay marriage tell him that too, but in a kind diplomatic way. He shouldn't be offended if he's the one who asked, especially if you've never brought it up. 

Finding the Truth to Stand For

Remember, the Lord allows many different trials to occur while we're here on earth. I don't mean to trivialize the difficulties you brought up when you said your friend couldn't have the experience of raising a child here on earth, because you're right. That's super hard. But the idea that God allows these types of trials to come to us isn't unique to the challenge of homosexuality. One of the most emotional talks I've ever heard is "Because I Live, Ye Shall Live Also," by Elder Shayne M. Bowen. Elder Bowen described his experience losing his son.  God allowed Elder Bowen to lose the opportunity to raise one of his children here on earth. That is an incredibly difficult thing to experience. In his talk, he said a few things that I think apply to anyone who loses, fully or partially, the family experience here on earth for any reason:

However, tormenting thoughts continued to plague me, and I soon began to feel anger. “This isn’t fair! How could God do this to me? Why me? What did I do to deserve this?” I even felt myself get angry with people who were just trying to comfort us. I remember friends saying, “I know how you feel.” I would think to myself, “You have no idea how I feel. Just leave me alone.” I soon found that self-pity can also be very debilitating. I was ashamed of myself for having unkind thoughts about dear friends who were only trying to help.

As I felt the guilt, anger, and self-pity trying to consume me, I prayed that my heart could change. Through very personal sacred experiences, the Lord gave me a new heart, and even though it was still lonely and painful, my whole outlook changed. I was given to know that I had not been robbed but rather that there was a great blessing awaiting me if I would prove faithful.

My life started to change, and I was able to look forward with hope, rather than look backward with despair. I testify that this life is not the end. The spirit world is real. The teachings of the prophets regarding life after death are true. This life is but a transitory step forward on our journey back to our Heavenly Father. ("Because I Live, Ye Shall Live Also," October 2012, Emphasis Added)

There are other examples. For example, two men wanted to follow the Savior, but one wanted first to bury his father and the other wanted to say goodbye to his family. The Savior's response? "No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God" (See Luke 9:57-62).

We believe that God loves us, so these kinds of things can be initially difficult to understand. Why would God allow the death of a son, even when a father had done nothing wrong? Why does He allow such terrible atrocities and difficulties in the world today? Why would He ask a man who wanted to be a disciple to leave his family immediately, without saying goodbye? Why would He ask someone who struggles with same gender attraction to abstain from family life while here on earth?

We reconcile these questions with our knowledge of God's love in two primary ways. First, we understand that God's love, though unconditional, is a forward thinking love. He wants what's best for us long term, and that can cause some pain for us short term. Although God's love is unconditional, His saving grace is not. Our ability to return to live with God again is conditional on our willingness to keep the commandments and become as He is. Much of our growth includes continuing to keep the commandments despite significant adversity. Consider the following:

Can you and I really expect to glide naively through life, as if to say, “Lord, give me experience, but not grief, not sorrow, not pain, not opposition, not betrayal, and certainly not to be forsaken. Keep from me, Lord, all those experiences which made Thee what Thou art! Then let me come and dwell with Thee and fully share Thy joy!” ("Lest Ye Be Wearied and Faint in Your Minds," May 1991)

Second, we understand that God will make all these difficulties worth it for us in the end. We see these difficulties in the context that they are only temporary. Consider the following two statements. The first is from the Book of Revelation, describing the ultimate fate of the righteous:

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more deathneither sorrownor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21:7)

Then consider the following statement from Corinthians:

Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Placed in that context, what God asks of those struggling with same gender attraction doesn't seem so unreasonable. "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."  He gets your friend's pain more than you do. Yes, through the limited lens of mortality, it can seem like we are denying someone something vital to their well-being. But the promise of God is that there will be something better than this "transitory step" if we are faithful.

I'm not sure what more to say. You seem like a pretty well-informed person, so I'm willing to bet you've heard most of this before. You know the promise of the scriptures: "Askand it shall be given you; seekand ye shall find; knockand it shall be opened unto you" (Matthew 7:7).

Conclusion: Balancing Your Religion and Desire to be Accepting

God's purpose is to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39). I believe one of the greatest things we can do here in mortality is to join Him in that purpose. That can happen as we fulfill missionary service, as we raise children in righteousness, as we interact with our friends, or as we otherwise serve in the Church. Ultimately, this is how we become as He is.

So in wondering how to balance a belief in certain divine laws with love for others, we can look to our ultimate example: God. How does he feel about those struggling with same gender attraction? He loves them. If they chose to break divine law, does He condone that action? No. Does He support them in that choice? No. The choice saddens him because He knows it will not lead His children to lasting happiness. But does He stop loving them when they make mistakes? No.

Does He ever stop loving them? No. Never, ever, ever.

Certainly this can be a model for us as we seek to treat God's children as He would.

I wish you the best of luck.

- Haleakalā

Question #75555 posted on 12/15/2013 2:42 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I just read this article about -135.8 degree temperatures in Antarctica. It explains that scientists in those temperatures breathe through "a snorkel that brings air into the coat through a sleeve and warms it up." I would love to know more about these snorkels. Is the air heated by body heat, for instance? Because in order for the body to heat the air, wouldn't that expose the body to those extreme low temperatures? I'd also love to see a picture, if anyone could track one down.

-Emiliana

A:

Dear Emiliana,

The "cold air snorkel" proved to be a very elusive thing to find, so I emailed the scientist who mentioned it in the article to find out what he meant by it. As it turns out, that specific device was available in the 1990s and is no longer in production. Instead, the current preferred air-warming devices are face masks like this spiffy ColdAvenger Pro:

coldairdevice_1.jpg

I guess the cold air snorkel didn't work too well. Not only would you be exposing your body to cold air (which I think would be uncomfortable rather than harmful, as your body is a lot bigger than the tube and you would be wearing a very well insulated jacket), but I think having a tube going from your face and through your sleeve would be annoying. And you would have to have a tube in your mouth for extended periods of time. 

Because no one really uses them anymore, I couldn't find a picture. But I quickly sketched some concept art in Paintbrush in case you are thinking of making one yourself and you need some inspiration:

airsnorkel.png

Sheebs

Question #75530 posted on 01/07/2014 12:12 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I applaud the recent increased efforts of writers to encourage readers to visit the counseling center. I think far too often people are embarrassed or afraid to use the resources available, and Elder Holland's recent conference talk reiterates the importance of getting the help we need and supporting those with emotional trials.

However a small curiosity has been forming in the back of my mind. I am attending graduate school at a large university with on-campus counseling that is organized much like it is at BYU. Despite being quite large with many personnel, the counseling center here is consistently 'maxed out' by mid-semester. They literally do not have the capacity to accommodate all the students who wish to meet with counselors. Students with actual need are then 'referred out' to other doctors, but I do believe the process is somewhat selective. If I were to show up and ask for help improving my social skills, for example, I am fairly certain they would tell me to please leave to make room for the kid who is actually depressed and in need of immediate attention. And so I was wondering, does BYU face similar issues involving the maximum capacity of the counseling center? Do they ever draw the line as to what type of issues they will attend to? (could the reader who asked for help with social skills last month actually go to the counseling center and be seen?) Has the number of students using the counseling center increased with the increasing number of informal Board referrals over the past few months? It has also occurred to me that perhaps the LDS population is less likely to ask for help, given the (real or imagined) underlying pressure to be -and appear- "perfect," and so the center at BYU is less likely to fill up than at other universities. Do you believe that's true? Has there been any research done on this? (not about the counseling center filling up, but LDS people asking for help with emotional issues)

I am not trying to discredit your advice by any means, I am just curious about how BYU handles counseling with such a large university and presumably large demand. And I only singled out the social skills question because it never occurred to me that someone might go to a counselor for help with social skills (not that it is necessarily a bad idea) Thanks.

-Not a counselor either

A:

Dear not a counselor,

I love being able to answer questions about therapy, and I hope that the information that I provide in my answers encourages people to take advantage of the resources available to them. Having access to free counseling sessions as a student at BYU is really quite an amazing resource. I asked a counselor over at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS, the official name for the counseling center) for help in answering this question. I'm telling you, those counselors are the nicest people! He provided me with a lot of the information that I've included in this answer. 

And so I was wondering, does BYU face similar issues involving the maximum capacity of the counseling center?

BYU's trends are more or less in line with those of campuses across the nation. Every year, the number of students being seen at CAPS increases. This is probably at least partially due to lessening stigma about mental health issues, as well as an increased recognition that therapy is an acceptable way to address personal concerns. Elder Holland's talk and the general response to it are one good indication of this. Especially during busier parts of the semester, students wishing to be seen may have to wait a couple of weeks for an intake session. CAPS will try to schedule students who seem to be in a significant amount of distress more quickly if possible, however they will never tell a student, "Sorry, we're full, try somewhere else," regardless of what they need help with. 

Do they ever draw the line as to what type of issues they will attend to? (could the reader who asked for help with social skills last month actually go to the counseling center and be seen?)

The only criteria that someone needs to meet in order to see a counselor at CAPS is that he or she is a 3/4 or full-time student. CAPS does not turn students away, regardless of their concern. The only time that students are referred out to other professionals is when the student's presenting concern is something that CAPS is not equipped to handle due to a need for more specialized knowledge or extensive care. For example, CAPS does not have the medical personnel necessary for treating severe eating disorders, nor can CAPS generally accommodate clients who need to meet multiple times a week (generally, clients at CAPS meet with someone once a week or once every other week). So it's possible that clients could be referred out if CAPS did not have the resources to help them, however CAPS will never turn someone away for "not being depressed enough" or "being too well-adjusted."

Counselors may recommend that a client get involved in additional therapeutic activities such as group therapy, however they will never refuse to see a client individually who wishes to have individual therapy. 

The reader who asked for help with social skills in the question you reference could absolutely be seen at CAPS. In fact, social anxieties are a common presenting concern for students who come to CAPS. Many students struggle with interpersonal skills, dating concerns, and making friends. This is a perfectly acceptable reason to seek out therapy. As the counselor I spoke to put it, if something is a big enough deal to you that it's concerning you, then it's an appropriate reason to seek therapy.

One of the things that I'm hoping that the Board helps with is erasing the stigma or common conception that a person's problems have to be "bad enough" to make going to therapy okay. In fact, addressing a concern while it is still relatively manageable rather than waiting for it to potentially get worse is an extremely wise decision. Counselors at CAPS don't feel like it's a waste of their time to see someone with mild social anxieties versus someone with severe depression. Counselors see a wide variety of clients with a wide variety of concerns--some more severe than others, but none more legitimate than any other. A counselor might see someone who is having problems with his or her roommates one hour, and then the next hour see a client who is suicidal, and then the hour after that see someone who is grieving the loss of a parent. Again, if it bothers you, then it's a valid concern. 

Has the number of students using the counseling center increased with the increasing number of informal Board referrals over the past few months?

When a client comes in for an intake session, the counselor will ask how the client found out about CAPS or what made him or her decide to come in. The counselor I spoke to said that although many clients say that they came because of the recommendation of a friend or because they found information on BYU's website, occasionally he does hear the client cite the Board as the reason for coming in. Whether this occurred more frequently in the past few months, though, I have no way of knowing. It is also possible that people decide to go to CAPS after reading the answers to their own or someone else's questions, however don't mention it when they come in for an intake session. 

It has also occurred to me that perhaps the LDS population is less likely to ask for help, given the (real or imagined) underlying pressure to be -and appear- "perfect," and so the center at BYU is less likely to fill up than at other universities. Do you believe that's true?

I'm not sure, maybe? Generally speaking, therapy is often seen as the fall-back plan or last ditch effort. This is not only the case with LDS populations--it seems to be true across our culture. It is hard to ask for help, especially with something that you are not proud of or would rather no one knew about.

It is certainly true that the trends in presenting concerns that LDS populations might come to therapy with may differ somewhat from those of other populations--the counselor I spoke to said that he sees many clients who come to therapy because they are struggling with perfectionism. Some clients are seeking to overcome their perfectionism, while others are actually hoping that therapy will help them to become more perfect. Perfectionism may also be manifested in body image or eating concerns, especially for women. CAPS counselors also see many clients who have concerns with spirituality or a crisis of faith. LDS clients may also come to therapy with concerns that might not be seen as much of a concern outside of the LDS culture--for instance, many clients come to CAPS hoping to get help for pornography addictions or the anxiety and guilt caused by issues of sexuality that may not match up with religious beliefs. However, none of these issues are completely unique to LDS clients, and LDS clients also have all the same concerns that non-LDS clients might have as far as mental health goes.  

Has there been any research done on this? (not about the counseling center filling up, but LDS people asking for help with emotional issues)

I'm not aware of any research on LDS populations and therapy, though it is an interesting thought. I will keep digging, but I don't want to hold this question longer. I will post a comment if I come up with anything.

Hope this helps!

-Divya

Question #75452 posted on 12/06/2013 1:14 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

A lot of evangelical Christians believe that LDS are not Christians despite our protest to the contrary, on the basis that we do not worship the "same" or "correct" or "Biblical" Jesus. I don't get what they mean by that. Do they seem to think there was more than one Jesus out there for us to believe in? You can argue about the personal characteristics and motivations of a historical figure like Napoleon for example, but the fact remains that there was still only one Napoleon. What's the logic in these claims?

-Southern Mormon girl

A:

Dear Southern Mormon girl,

Imagine that you and I are in the same class, and we're having a conversation about one of our classmates, "Sarah." I say that Sarah's favorite food is pizza, because I saw her eating pizza in the Courgareat once. You point out that she told you she loves Jamba Juice, so her favorite food must be fruit smoothies. (If that counts as a food, anyway.) At this point, it's likely that we're still talking about the same person, because the details we disagree on are rather insignificant. But imagine I then pointed out that Sarah was blonde and about my height, even though you know Sarah has brown hair and is much taller than I am. At this point, we might question if we were talking about the same person. Maybe there are two Sarahs in our class.

This would be the kind of logic used by most evangelical Christians. Although we might both worship a person with the same name, Mormons' view of who the Savior was/is is supposedly so "far off" that we couldn't possibly be talking about the same person they are. They might not argue there were actually two people named Jesus Christ. Instead, they would probably say "ours" simply didn't exist. 

The primary reason evangelical Christians must make this claim is their belief in the saving power of faith alone. Since they argue that faith in Jesus Christ is the only thing necessary for salvation, it would naturally follow that Mormons would still qualify for salvation as they believe in Jesus Christ, even if they disagreed with evangelicals on some points of doctrine. In order to have any discord or make any argument against us, they must first establish that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can't provide salvation, despite evangelicals' claim that salvation comes through faith alone. They chose to do this by claiming that our view of the Savior is so far off what the Bible teaches that belief in such a figure would not qualify one for eternal life.

Here are three of the most common places where they say we differ from biblical teaching on the nature of Jesus Christ, along with (for your interest) the typical Latter-day Saint Response. Note that where I say "Latter-day Saint Response," I don't mean to imply that these are necessarily official Church responses.

Alleged Biblical Inaccuracy in LDS Doctrine  Evangelical Evidence Latter-day Saint Response
Nature of the Godhead (God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are one entity.) Evangelicals would point to scriptures such as John 8:19 ("...if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.") and John 14:9-10 ("... but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.") to demonstrate that Jesus Christ is God, the same as who we know as Heavenly Father.

When the Savior talks about He and the Father being "one," we understand Him to be speaking figuratively. For example, when the Savior prayed for all those who would believe in Him, He said: "...that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me" (John 17:20-23). Although this is similar to the language he used to describe His relationship with His Father, we certainly wouldn't say that the Savior and His believers were the same person.

The Savior's statement in John 14:28, "the Father is greater than I," is also not congruent with a belief that the Savior is the same as person as his Father. What of the Savior's baptism, when the Father testified of His Son's divine mission? If the Savior was testifying of His own mission, why wouldn't He just say so, as He did throughout His ministry?

You may also want to see Jeffery R. Holland's 2007 Conference Talk "The Only True God and Jesus Christ Whom He Hath Sent."

"Faith v. Works" (Salvation from Jesus Christ Comes Through Faith Alone) One of Evangelicals' favorite scriptures to back up the doctrine of "faith alone" is Romans 3:28. Others include Romans 4:5, Ephesians 2:8-9, and Galatians 2:16.

Scriptures such as these must be accepted in context. The early apostles faced huge challenges integrating Gentiles and Jews into the Church. In most scriptures provided by evangelicals as evidence for "faith alone," apostles were trying to help Jewish converts understand that the law of Moses (a way of life for these Jewish converts) was no longer necessary. The Law of Moses couldn't save them - only Christ could. 

Additional New Testament evidence against this doctrine can be found in James 2:24, John 14:15, and Matthew 5:48.

This assertion sometimes contains a misunderstanding by evangelicals about what we really believe. While it is true that Latter-day Saints believe that faith alone is not sufficient for eternal life, we do not believe that our works having saving power, as evangelicals often claim. In other words, we are completely dependent on the Savior's grace for salvation, but that grace is not conditional upon faith alone (See 2 Nephi 25:23). When you hear evangelicals say things like "Mormons don't believe Christ was good enough," they are referring to this misunderstanding of our doctrine.

Jesus Christ is a Spirit, without a body of flesh and bone. With the temporary exception of his earthly ministry, most Evangelicals do not believe Jesus Christ has a body. See Numbers 23:19.  Our understanding of the physical nature of Jesus Christ is primarily rooted in the teachings of modern prophets. Although there is some New Testament evidence, it is not entirely definitive. For an example of evidence from modern prophets, see Doctrine and Covenants 130:22.

 

With these issues (what they see as inconsistencies with the Bible), evangelicals are not willing to accept that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in the same religious figure they do, despite the fact that we both refer to Him as Jesus Christ.

- Haleakalā

posted on 12/06/2013 5:09 p.m.
I highly suggest you read "Are Mormons Christians," by Stephen E. Robinson. In that book, he goes through each argument used to argue that Mormons aren't Christians and explains why they are false. It really helped me to understand why others think we're not Christian.

--Rifka
Question #75383 posted on 12/13/2013 4:42 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What is the most realistic way in which a permanent, stationary, hurricane or hurricane-like storm could occur on the ocean?

-Not a Meteorologist

A:

Dear hypothetical seeker,

There are a couple problems with the scenario you present. The biggest one is the word "realistic." That said, I'll do my best.

Generally, according to Wikipedia, hurricane formation requires six conditions, although exceptions have been noted. The six conditions are as follows:

  1. Warm water. Water temperature needs to be at least approximately 80 degrees Fahrenheit to a depth of about 160 feet. This allows the atmosphere to be unstable enough to support the necessary convection.
  2. Rapid cooling with height. As water vapor rises and cools, it releases its latent heat energy, which is what powers the storm.
  3. High humidity. This is closely related to the previous condition; the more water vapor is present, the more energy can be generated.
  4. Low wind shear. If wind speeds near the surface and wind speeds at higher elevations are different, they will rip apart the hurricane before it can form.
  5. Over 5 degrees away from the equator. A hurricane must develop at least 350 miles (five degrees of latitude) away from the equator. The storm's rotation depends on the Coriolis effect, which is nonexistent at the equator. If there's no Coriolis effect, there's no rotation, and if there's no rotation, there's no hurricane.
  6. A preexisting weather disturbance. Hurricanes do not form spontaneously. Rather, they are created from already-existing storms or disturbances that then evolve into a different type of storm system.

After forming, a hurricane is not moved by its own force but rather by larger global-scale wind patterns. Depending on the location and season, these may include trade winds, the monsoon trough, high-pressure systems, low-pressure systems, warm fronts, and cold fronts. An expert is quoted on Wikipedia as saying that a hurricane's path is similar to that of a leaf being carried on a stream. (You could say that a hurricane is like the protagonist of "Bohemian Rhapsody," going any way the wind blows, but having the power to kill a man.)

Hurricanes may die out in any of several ways. The quickest way to kill a hurricane is by moving it over land, cutting it off from the warm water that gives it its energy and effectively starving it to death. Alternatively, if the hurricane moves over cold water, essentially the same thing will happen, albeit somewhat slower. High wind shear can also do the trick by moving the convection and heat engine of the hurricane away from its center. Finally, a hurricane may merge with another storm or weather system and change its form; even though the resulting storm may be larger, it is no longer a hurricane. (Incidentally, nuclear weapons would not destroy a hurricane.)

So, knowing all of this, we can start to see the basic conditions that would be necessary to create a permanent hurricane, and also the conditions that make it impossible. This hypothetical hurricane would require a constant source of warm water. This is problematic because the hurricane would eventually deplete the water's heat faster than the heat could be regenerated by any normal means; hurricanes also churn the water beneath them and bring colder deep water to the surface. Also, in order to stay in one place, the hurricane would have to not be affected by any major external wind systems; apart from being a difficult condition to find nearly anywhere in the world, this would prevent the hurricane from forming in the first place, because hurricanes can only form from preexisting weather disturbances.

Basically, a hurricane is a giant ball of unstable energy. This is just about as antithetical to "permanent" and "stationary" as you can get. Trying to get a hurricane to stay in place is kind of like trying to get a crowd of hungry, ornery cats to stay in place while still keeping them hungry. If they stay hungry, they'll run off and look for food. If you bring food to them, they won't be hungry anymore and will probably curl up and go to sleep. And physically restraining more than about one cat at once is just about impossible, especially if you value the structural integrity of your skin.

That said, let's try it.

So, suppose that a hurricane does begin to form. Suppose furthermore that, as soon as it takes shape, the world's wind systems all mysteriously work together to stall it in one place, neither moving it nor tearing it apart. This is incredibly unlikely, but I suppose it is theoretically possible. With that accomplished, the main issue at hand is perpetually replenishing the ocean surface with a constant supply of warm water. So, what is something that has a practically inexhaustible supply of heat energy and is located near the ocean?

An underwater volcano.

Now, the problem here is that prolonged eruption would eventually create a new island, but I guess that's only a worry depending on your definition of "permanent." All water on Earth will evaporate in about a billion years as a result of the Sun's progression towards its red giant phase, so at that point, I think we can safely assume that hurricanes will no longer exist. Until then, though, lovers of hypotheticals can dream their hypothetical dreams.

-yayfulness

Question #75044 posted on 11/07/2013 9:26 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

First, check out this map of rivers in the United States. The map is striking, but one of the things that stands out most to me are the areas that lack rivers. Some, like the Great Salt Lake Desert and the Florida Everglades, make sense. Others (at least to me), dont, like the Snake River Plain and the swath down the middle of the continental 48 that includes the Missouri Plateau, the High Plains of Nebraska, and the Llano Estacado. Are these areas really devoid of rivers, or is it merely gaps in the source data? And if they really are devoid of rivers, what is the geological reason for the previously-mentioned swath in the Great Plains states?

—Damasta

A:

Dear Damasta,

After a bit of investigation, I was able to find a zoomable version of the map. As I suspected, the main reason for the gaps is actually the map's resolution. To demonstrate, I've taken a series of screenshots focusing on several of the apparently empty areas. First, though, here's what the map looks like if you zoom out to the full extent of the United States (on my laptop, anyway; if you're using a desktop with a larger screen, this may appear different).

rivers full extent.png

Let's start with the big empty area in the middle of Nebraska. Here's a slightly more zoomed version.

rivers nebraska 1.png

As you can see, smaller rivers are starting to show up. What happens when we take an even closer look?

rivers nebraska 2.png

This still leaves a large area with no rivers shown, but it's clear that the resolution has a big effect on how the map is displayed. If we take the view in even further, we get something that looks like this.

rivers nebraska 3.png

Certainly not the most lush region of the country, but there are definitely rivers.

Now we'll move on to another segment of the country: central North Dakota.

rivers north dakota 1.png

I'll spare you the intermediate zooms here; we can just skip straight to the big gap just north of the border with South Dakota. Zoom in, and here's what you see:

rivers north dakota 2.png

It turns out Minnesota isn't the only land of 10,000 lakes. This clearly has a huge effect on the area's rivers.

Now, finally, let's go to the Llano Estacado of Texas. Wikipedia tells me that it is almost completely devoid of water. How true is that?

rivers texas 1.png

It takes several zooms to show the context here, so bear with me. I know you're probably getting tired of all of these pictures, but I'm almost done.

rivers texas 2.png

As it turns out, there are rivers in this vast stretch of emptiness, but they are extremely small.

rivers texas 3.png

So while the Llano Estacado is not completely river-free, it's probably your best bet if you're trying to find someplace in the lower 48 states with as little water as possible.

If anyone's interested in reading about the story behind this map, you can do so here.

-yayfulness

Question #74780 posted on 10/19/2013 9:58 p.m.
Q:

Dear Owlet,

Will you please draw me a picture of a frog and cat jump-roping together?

A fan of your artistic ability,
Shanimal

A:

Dear Shanimal,

Your question made me realize that my portfolio is sadly lacking in the strange-combinations-of-personified-animals area. How silly of me.

It's harder for me to draw animals without a reference picture, so I tried to find a photo of what you describe. For some reason Google didn't have any, so I made my own:

frog&catJumpRopingTogether.jpg(source 1)(2)(3)

And then I drew this, substituting the double-dutch girls with Board Writers:
Frog&CatDrawing.jpg

I think it's a pretty fair likeness. I hope you like it, and thanks for asking!

-Owlet

Question #74701 posted on 10/23/2013 11:04 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How much weight can twizzlers hold? How much can they stretch before they break?
How far can they be thrown?

-Mecheng

A:

Dear Mecheng,

To answer your question, yayfulness, Marguerite St. Just, Stego Lily, Tootles, Owlet, and I met up to do SCIENCE!

What? That's the proper notation: SCIENCE!

Stego Lily brought, as she put it, "South Market's finest," which turned out to be cherry-flavored Pull 'N' Peel Twizzlers, and, for good measure, we decided to compare it to strawberry-flavored Red Vines. We're such overachievers.

MSJ brought her baby (read: her camera) and took pictures of the action. Everyone, please email her with marriage proposals and other such praise.

I did not bring my actual baby, but I did bring a force meter and 1000 grams worth of washers. The problem I didn't forsee, however, was that my cute little force meter could only read up to 1100 grams before it maxed out. I could only hope the licorice wouldn't be able to hold that much weight. I should have remembered Murphy's Law. Only when we pulled the Twizzlers apart so that it was only a single strand were we able to get a reading under 1100 grams:

Science.jpg

How Much Weight Can Twizzlers Hold Before Breaking?
Single Strand
Weight (g)
391
659
535
   
Average 528
Std Dev 134

Thicker strands initially held more than 1100 grams, but we did notice that if we hung 1000 grams from the strand and then waited, the licorice would stretch out and eventually break. So in an effort to give you some comparison, we timed how long the licorice could hold 1000 grams until it broke.

Weighing Strands.jpg

We tried it with two-strand-thick and three-strand-thick pieces of Pull 'N' Peel, and also with the Red Vines:

How Long Can Licorice Hold a 1000 g Weight Before Breaking?
Twizzlers
Double Strand
Twizzlers
Triple Strand
Red Vines
Time (s) Time (s) Time (s)
2.3 10.47 6.98
4.33 10.12 7.26
2.3 11.94 6.7
           
Average 3.0 Average 10.84 Average 6.98
Std Dev 1.2 Std Dev 0.97 Std Dev 0.28

It's not too surprising that once you get to three strands, the Twizzlers totally whoops the Red Vines. Red Vines are hollow, while the Twizzlers are not, so it's easier for the Red Vines to develop a failure point.

We tried to do the same experiment with a full nine-strand piece of Twizzlers, but as far as we could tell, 1000 grams would never be enough weight to stretch and break it. You can't see it, but Stego Lily is making a face that impatiently asks, "Waiting is hard. Can I eat it yet?"

Will Never Break_edit.jpg 

Thankfully, the other parts of your question didn't require a force meter! Stego Lily and Tootles undertook the task of stretching the licorice, and we got these results:

Measuring Twizzlers.jpg

How Far Can Licorice Stretch Before Breaking?
Twizzlers Red Vines
Initial Length
(in)
Final Length
(in)
Difference
(in)
Initial Length
(in)
Final Length
(in)
Difference
(in)
5.875 9 3.125 5.25 6 0.75
5.875 11 5.125 5.5 6 0.5
6.0625 11 4.9375 5.625 6.5 0.875
           
  Average 4.40   Average 0.71
  Std Dev 1.10   Std Dev 0.19

Once again, the Twizzlers proves to be stronger than the Red Vines.

Last, we went out to a rather public parking lot on campus and threw licorice. If I'd been one of the passers-by, I'd have thought we were a)dumb college weirdos, b)freshman, or c)on some kind of BYU date. If only they'd stopped to learn the truth: this candy sacrifice was in the name of SCIENCE!

As we didn't have a very long tape measure, we measured the throwing distance by seeing how many parking spaces we could throw the licorice. Given that the average parking space is somewhere around 8 feet, I came up with these distances for licorice-throwing:

How Far Can Licorice Be Thrown By a Board Writer?
(ft)
  yayfulness Maven Marguerite
St. Just
Owlet Stego Lily Tootles
Red Vines 56 56 48 52 30 64
Twizzlers 56 64 64 64 46 96

Twizzlers is the unmitigated champion in the throwing department. Of course, it helps that the Twizzlers were heavier than than Red Vines, so it did have an advantage there. Also, we discovered that one benefit of being lerpy (we're looking at you, Tootles) is you can throw things further than most other people.

And in conclusion, what's the best part about SCIENCE! you ask? Eating it, of course!

Eating Science_edit.jpg

--Maven, yayfulness, Maguerite St. Just, Stego Lily, Owlet, and Tootles (MYMSTO? MOMSTY? SMOMTY? STOMMY? Pick your favorite, or make up your own!)

P.S. – Happy Mole Day!

Question #74697 posted on 10/16/2013 3:22 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I work on campus in an office environment with a man who loves to pull pranks on other employees. He thrives off of it and as a result, is very good at it. My other coworkers and I are pooling our brains together to come up with a good prank for him. The problem is, his brain alone is better than all of ours put together so...do you have an ideas for us??
Thanks!

-Amateur Prankster

A:

Dear Rosemary,

Recently my boss went to Brazil for a few weeks and when he came back, I'd glued (or taped, depending on the surface, because I don't hate him) googly eyes of different sizes to everything in his office. Including over his family pictures and on some statues -- even the one of Jesus, but that looked wrong (like Jesus was weirdly cross-eyed and totally creepy), so they got pulled off quickly. Googly eyes really make everything better. I'm actually surprised I didn't blog about this because it might be my favorite prank of the summer. Check these sweet photos out!

 image_3.jpeg

This is what gluing eyes to a plant while sitting at my desk looks like. My boss was gone for a few weeks, so I had a lot of time to glue while I was on phone calls. If you use a hot glue gun, let the glue cool just a bit before sticking it on the plant, otherwise it kills little circles in the leaf. Not that I know from experience...

image_8.jpeg

With eyes, the plants are able to express the untold horrors of their office life.

image_7.jpeg

He didn't notice these eyes for awhile. When he did, it was while he was on a conference call. They started him and he jumped back in surprise.

image_6.jpeg

With some eyes, eyebrows and a mustache, the lamp is angered.

image_9.jpeg

Family photos get a million times better (he left the eyes on all his office pictures).

image_4.jpeg

Every time he offers someone his business card, he has to explain why there are eyes.

image_1.jpeg

Googly-eyed statues are almost always a good idea. See how this tender moment in childhood development is improved by wide-eyed terror?

Now, take a drink, Board [non-alcoholic] Drinking Game* aficionados, because I'm going to reference the archives. Specifically some past pranks and technically you'll take seven drinks because I'm linking to seven past answers. I like Queen Alice's idea of not playing a prank, but mentioning one is coming or staring at him while he does mundane things like you expect something bad to happen. That would be unnerving and hilarious. This answer contains a few of my old favorites, mostly played on coworkers (specifically, my boss). If you want to be a little bit meaner, FCSM has some ideas for pretending to get someone in moral or legal trouble, letting them worry about it all weekend and then revealing it's a joke. I like The Prankster's idea of stealing light bulbs. I did that to my boss one day and while his one wall is a full window, it was still inconvenient. And I love the idea of using a live lobster. Perhaps under the desk? Granted, I don't know enough about lobsters to know if that would be a terrible idea. I super-love Olympus' idea of making a Plaster of Paris mold of your face and leaving it to stare at your boss creepily until he discovers it. It's less a prank than a startled moment, but maybe you can get a lot of use out of your head mold. I'd also modify Sky Bones' idea of taking other signs (restroom, janitor closed, no exit, whatever) and hanging those on his door, assuming he has a door. I also adore krebscout's idea of buying tubs of plastic soldiers and having every one else in the office take turns placing them randomly in and around his things. This could potentially go on for weeks. I have every intention of also doing this.

For Christmas one year we also stole my boss's lamp. He has an irrational love of that lamp (weirdly irrational), so we wrapped it up and put it in the white elephant game. When someone else opened it, he saw it was his lamp and completely flipped out and demanded it back. We told him he could only have it if he swapped for it fairly. Of course we gave him the lamp back and had a replacement gift because we aren't terrible. On that same vein, you could probably just steal something and then send ransom notes/pictures.

One time while I was gone, my coworkers collected all the fake plants in our department (which spanned two floors and apparently an ungodly amount of plastic greenery), stuck them on my desk, left a pith helmet on top of it all with a sign that said, "Jungle Cruise Director." Just to show them, I spent the day working in the small forest and actually loved it because it was hard for people to talk to me.

If you want to work with food, Chocomize makes custom chocolate bars. I put cayenne pepper in the one I gave my roommate (she knew it was in there because she loves cayenne pepper and claimed it tasted good on and in everything. Her nephews who decided to eat her chocolate did not know it was there). I'm also wishing I could think of a good way to use an ice cream potato (despite the recipe, I'd use banana for the butter and chocolate sauce as like gravy), because they are the ultimate in delicious food-that-looks-like-another-food, but my brain isn't processing anything other than how badly I want to eat it.

The Phantom Keystroker is one of the best prank things I've ever bought. Except I used in on a coworker with no sense of humor and he got mad and threw it away -- which makes him a Death Eater of office happiness.

I have always wanted to do the prank where you replace every item in someone's office with high quality pictures of those items. That one is super time-consuming, though, but I bet the end result is amazing.

Now, for more pranks I've saved away to maybe try some day we have:

Changing his Facebook status so only he can see his posts, then he'll wonder why no one comments on/likes them.

Making a soy sauce soda.

It's like making his desktop wallpaper a picture of the desktop with the icons hidden, but so much more. Oh, so, so much more. I did attempt this one, but it doesn't work on a computer with two screens -- or his computer with two screens. In any case, I ran into difficulties and had to abort the mission.

Use a script to eject the CD tray every two minutes. I would 100% do this if my boss hadn't learned to lock his computer now.

Make Internet Explorer (or I guess any icon) shut down the computer.

Create an exploding soda bottle.

I'm on the fence over how I feel about these, but you could do an air horn either under his chair or, if he has an office, behind his door.

This just seems mean, but you can make a Febreze Bomb.

I'm still trying to figure out a way to build a sharknado in my boss's office. The issue I'm running into is everything that I think could create the tornado shell would be too heavy to hang from his office ceiling -- probably with duct tape because he doesn't have anywhere to tie things. Any engineering types want to help me out?

-Marguerite St. Just

*Is that even a thing? Please let this be a thing!

Question #74637 posted on 10/13/2013 6:04 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Which current writers have you met face to face and what was your first impression of them? What about writers you haven't met?

-My Name Here

A:

Dear cygnet,

Before my first Board party, I wanted to preserve my reader-perception of what the writers looked like. For some of the writers I knew would come, I drew pictures of what they (and their personal signatures) looked like in my head:

Anne1.jpgTally2.jpgMSJ2.jpgserendipity3.jpgTEN1.jpgConcealocanth1.jpg

 

These are the writers I have met face-to-face:

  • serendipity: I actually sort of knew serendipity before I even started reading the Board. I got the impression that she's cute and smart and just a good person overall.
  • yayfulness: I was really nervous to meet him because he's always been one of my favorite writers. He actually wasn't scary at all, and he's easy to be around.
  • Tootles: Very tall and really expressive. He has a huge smile; I think he enjoys life.
  • Stego Lily: Friendly, fun, and good at playing along with my craziness.
  • Yog in Neverland: Also tall, and really funny. She talks a lot and has cool jewelry.
  • Marguerite St. Just: I didn't really get to interact with her, but she seemed nice. And also professional.
  • Anne, Certainly: She seemed fun, and she's nice—she thinks about other people. I wish I knew her better.
  • Maven: She's really pretty and easy to talk to; she's good at asking questions. Her baking is as good as legend.
  • The Entropy Ninja: I haven't talked to her much but I love how she is a fan of cool things.
  • Concealocanth: Again, I haven't really talked to her much, but she seems nice. Something made me think she would be older.
  • Tally M.: Kind of quiet, and also a fan of cool things.

My first impressions of 'nyms are represented in my mind with colors. Here are the writers I have not met: Ace (bright red), Squirrel (brown), Concorde (sky blue), The Audience (ruby red), Curious Physics Minor (orange), Laser Jock (yellow), Rating Pending (kind of like a...warm...black), Azriel (also black), Genuine Article (light green), Yellow (um, yellow), Gimgimno (emerald green).

-Owlet

Question #74372 posted on 09/25/2013 8:52 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

You guys rejected my application for the 2nd time? WHAT? And this is why I have yet to step foot at a single Y-Serve or ward service activity.

-Let the meek help themselves

A:

Dear wha...?

I've thought about several ways to word this answer. At the risk of my words being taken badly, I have decided to be as simple and direct as possible. I do not mean to cause offense with anything I am about to write. However, you are an adult, and you deserve the plain and direct truth, whether you like it or not.

Basically, you applied for a job and didn't get it.

Here are some basic facts that you (and all prospective applicants) ought to know.

What The Board Is

  • The Board is a professional-style organization. While it is true that we are volunteers who provide a free service, we provide that free service on a level that is meant to be professional.
  • The Board is a time commitment. In order to be successful as a Board writer, it is necessary to sacrifice time on a consistent basis. This varies from person to person and from week to week, but it is a real and sizable commitment.
  • The Board requires a very specific skill set. Writers must be capable of finding information, verifying their information's accuracy, thoughtfully coming up with rational opinions, and expressing that information or those opinions in a clear, concise way to readers. Writers must also be capable of doing this under the influence of a deadline.
  • The Board is a leadership role. As Board writers, like it or not, we are leaders in our community. People look up to us and respect our opinions. We have the capacity to do a great deal of good, but we also have the capacity to do a great deal of harm. If our information or opinions are erroneous, offensive, or not well thought out, we have the very real capacity to change others' lives for the worse.
  • In short, the Board functions as an unpaid internship. It carries a great deal of responsibility and commitment. It requires specialized skills and dedication. It is the kind of thing that people can (and do) put on their resume. And writers and editors, like it or not, must judge all applicants to the Board on the same standard that we would judge applicants to a professional internship.

What The Board Is Not

  • The Board is not an open-access club.*
  • The Board is not a social event.
  • The Board is not a run-of-the-mill service organization.
  • The Board is not something that you, I, or anyone else is automatically entitled to be a part of.

Does all of this make sense?

I don't know why your application was rejected. I don't even know which applicant you are. I haven't been terribly involved in the behind-the-scenes work of the Board for the past few months, so there's a good chance that I barely even skimmed over your application. What I'm trying to say here is that this answer is completely impersonal; I'm addressing it not only to you but also to all past and future applicants, especially the ones we do not hire. You submitted your application to the Board; in essence, you applied to an internship. After duly considering your merits and drawbacks, the editors (with writer input) decided that your skills as demonstrated in your application did not match up with the Board's needs.

I understand that it's frustrating. However, please try to remember that it is not something meant to be taken personally. You applied to join a professional organization. Your application was rejected. This happens to literally everyone at some point or another. We don't keep stats on how many applicants get accepted and rejected, but I think it's safe to say we reject about 50% of all applications. About a quarter of the applicants we do accept never make it past the stage of being a probational writer.

I hope that you don't let this experience drive you away from the Board. We value you as a reader, and we certainly don't take any joy in rejecting applicants. I wish you all the best.

-yayfulness

*I'm not aware of an official policy here, but this is my opinion. The way I see it, being a Board reader is the equivalent of being a club member. Being a Board writer is the equivalent of being a club officer. So when we reject applicants, we're not saying you can't be part of the club. We're saying we aren't selecting you as club leadership.

Question #74208 posted on 10/01/2013 3:46 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Could you please replicate an HFAC experiment to determine its accuracy?

-EizN^3

A:

Dear EizNCubed,

So, with the help of a few brave friends, I repeated the peanut butter experiment.

Introduction to our highly scientific experiment:

IMG_0393.JPG

So, we didn't do this exactly the same way as HFAC. Our basic levels of the independent variable were: Milk (white) Water (colored red) and Stawberry-Kiwi Soda (green.) For each test, we downed one teaspoon of peanut butter and then a Dixie cup of the chosen mouthwash. Pictured here are our brave volunteers Quatro Quatro, Gonzo, and Violet.

We rated our post-drink peanut butter mouth on a 1-10 scale (1 being the least peanut butter residue, 10 being the most peanut butter residue)

Here we have our brave volunteers (myself excluded, as I am taking the picture. From left to right we have Quatro Quatro, my brother Gonzo, and Violet.)

 grouppic.jpg

All four of us did the test with water, milk, soda, and then water again (pretend that makes it more legitimate because of repeated trials or a control or something.) We used oyster crackers for purposes of palate cleansing.

Highly Scientific Data

  Anne Violet Primus Gonzo
Water 4 3.5 3 5
Milk 1 2 3 2
Soda 1 1* 5 6
Water (II) 1 4.5 6 5

*Violet noted that this measurement may be invalid.

So, computing our averages:

Water: 4

Milk: 2

Soda: 3.25 (including Violet) 4 (excluding Violet)

SO: Highly Scientific Conclusions

According to our highly legitimate measurements OF SCIENCE, you should stick to milk. Soda may or may not be a little better than water, but neither will beat the dairy. Gonzo made a comment about how it's probably because of the fat in the milk. Cool stuff.

Theoretically, that could have been the end, but you wanted HFAC. We're not them, but we can go beyond basic peanut butter.

Here's where we diverge. They did some experimentation with acid/base effects. We're going to look at some, uh, non-traditional ways to remove peanut butter through food combinations that even the bravest cupcake-war bakers would shrink away from.

Alternate Peanut Butter Lavages

Below, reader, you see a cup of olive oil, a cup of beef broth, a cup of Little Caesar's Crazy Sauce, and a carrot.

IMG_0409.JPG

Quatro Quatro was our brave soul who took the olive oil route. 

Here's his reaction:

 Adam.jpg

Quatro Quatro's reaction: "Wow...I...That was nasty."

I opted to go for the beef boullion, supposing that it would be less terrible than the marinara, which I foisted off upon my brother. This may have been a mistake, as that broth made me gag. That was NASTY.

IMG_0420.JPG

Above: Anne, Certainly attempts to undo the damage of having crossed the streams.

Anne's reaction: DEATH. Do not attempt.

My dear brother Gonzo bravely took up the cup of marinara sauce. You can't see his expression right now, and that's really too bad for you. He's looking pretty smug about this.

tim2.jpg

Also: He got to my house wearing a suit. We put him in my denim jacket and a dishtowel to protect his nice clothes. Party on, Gonzo.

 Tim1.jpg

Gonzo's reaction: "Super ineffective." *a few seconds pass* "Bleh."

Pro tip: Do not try to drink marinara from Dixie cups. It doesn't really come out. Gonzo ended up using his peanut butter spoon to just scoop some of it up.

Finally, Violet took the carrot.

 Rachel.jpg

Violet's reaction: People actually eat these together.

In conclusion, I think we probably recommend sticking to milk. 

IMG_0431.JPG

MANY BOTHANS (or Dixie cups, or something) DIED TO BRING YOU THIS INFORMATION.

And also a few of our taste buds.

Party on,

~Anne, Certainly (with the help of her friends Violet, Gonzo, and Quatro Quatro)

Question #74189 posted on 09/14/2013 11:46 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

If I got a tattoo that looked like a mixture between Zach Galifianakis and you, what would its facials look like, in detail?

-karlheinz

A:

Dear Cinnamon,

Literally the only thing I know about Zach Galifianakis is Pilgrim claims to look somewhat like him. Other than that, I have no idea who this person is.

Nevertheless, I have pictures of our attractive little faces magically combined with Zach's noggin using the wonders of science, technology, imagination and...Crayola. Mostly the last part, really.

Group.jpg

As seen demonstrated in the faces of back row (from left to right): Tally, Yog (wearing Anne's mask -- Anne was taking the picture...with my phone for some reason... I lament I forgot my real camera because now I have to post cell phone pictures and that makes my heart sad), Conceal O'Canth, Yog's head floating in mid-air, Stego Lily and me. Front Row (also from left to right, just for consistency): Maven, Tootles (who, I kid you not, behind the mask is really just a half-circle with his name in hair. It's really weird when you try to find his eyes. That's also what makes his head so big.), and TEN (who, it could be argued, is really on the back row, but then that puts me on my own back row and makes everyone else the middle row and I didn't love that).

Yay and Owl.jpg

Also Yayfulness and Owlet showed up late, so here they are. If I wasn't so distraught over picture quality, I might have attempted to Photoshop them in on the above photo, but instead everyone can just add them to the photo with their minds. It's better that way. It's always better that way.

COC.jpg

In the individual mask category, we have a majestic Conceal O'Canth. I am sure no one is surprised that she's a mermaid. We've tried to keep it a Board secret, but I guess it's out now.

Owl.jpg

And Owlet, I swear with all my heart, looks like a very pretty version of Gimgimno. It was like he was there with us and wearing lipstick (which is not all-together unusual).

Tally.jpg

The Tally-Zach mix is angry. Or intense. Perhaps brooding. One can never know the soul of a Tally-Zach. 

Yay.jpg

This is probably the most true-to-life mix. This picture is literally Yayfulness if he had facial hair. Behind that paper sack, his head is a giant circle of expressionlessness.

Yog.jpg

For some reason, Yog's masterpiece has tattoos. Does Zach have tattoos? I have no idea. Does Yog? Someone should really find out. Either way, they are there and they are artistic and I support that. Also, if you open the flap, it sings!

MSJ.jpg

And me! And this is really just me if I had purple skin, flat hair (not all hair days are winners -- even for crayon drawings) and a beard. It's good to know that if the situation ever arose, I could totally rock a beard.

Being distracted by not having my real camera, I didn't think to take individual mask pictures, so I only have the ones other writers sent to me, if anyone happens to wonder why people are missing.

Love and kisses,

-Marguerite St. Just

Question #74176 posted on 09/13/2013 12:52 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I have often wondered why God let his children live without the fullness of the gospel for nearly two centuries, let alone the other times of apostasy throughout the world's history. Of course, the fact that Christianity in some form or another was so prevalent during those centuries of course spread most of Christ's fundamental teachings throughout the world, surely in preparation for the last dispensation, but even today, the process of spreading the gospel to all the people of the world is stil in it's early stages.

But I have considered the idea that perhaps the fact that the population of the world is growing so fast may mean that, even in the handful of years this dispensation may last, a much larger percentage of humanity will live in this dispensation than one may suspect at first.

On this train of thought, I ask this question: with our best estimates, what percentage of the world's population up until today had died before 1830? And what about before 1930? 2000? And how would these numbers change if you factor in our estimates of the world population in 2030? 2050?

-Too lazy to number-crunch.

A:

Dear Too,

I took PRB's statistics for world population and total living population, and came up with the equation ([total # people ever born]-[total population alive])/(total current world population).  This is what I will be using for the percentages I provide.

  • Before 1850: 93,754,639,098 ever lived, 1,265,000,000 alive; 86% of 2011 ever-borns already dead
  • Before 1950: 100,045,075,169 ever lived, 2,516,000,000 alive; 90.6% of 2011 ever-borns already dead
  • Before 2011: 107,602,707,791 ever lived, 6,987,000,000 alive; 93.5% of 2011 ever-borns already dead

I'm going to give you the 2050 numbers for the other data, since the difference between 2030 and 2050 wouldn't be large enough to be of use.

The Wikipedia article on world population states that "Current UN projections show a continued increase in population in the near future (but a steady decline in the population growth rate), with the global population expected to reach between 8.3 and 10.9 billion by 2050." To get an actual figure, we're going to use the projected birth and death rates from Wikipedia, simplifying to easy looking numbers, then multiplying by 1 million to get my figures.

Births are expected to remain constant at 134 million.  The math there will be 134*39=5226, which gives us 5.226 billion.  The projected mortality rate that I could find was listed on Wikipedia as 56 million to to 80 million in 2040, so the math we're going to do there is (56+80)/2=68 68 million for 29 years.  I am going to assume a constant of 80 million deaths per year for the next 10, since any other number I could come up with is going to be a poor attempt at matching the math behind the people who figure out these actual projections. (68*29)+(80*10)=2772, which gives us 2.772 billion.  To figure out the total living people, we take (current total living)+(all future births-all future deaths).  This makes our 2050 world population a total of 9.441 billion (9,441,000,000).

To get our total-ever-lived number, we take the 2011 number and add all our births up to 1950 to it.  This gives us a total of 112,828,707,791.  Now we can crunch those numbers you were (admittedly practically) too lazy to crunch.

When we re-run the years before with the 2050 numbers, we get:

  • Before 1850: 82% of 2050 ever-borns already dead
  • Before 1950: 86.4% of 2050 ever-borns already dead
  • Before 2011: 89.2% of 2050 ever-borns already dead
  • Before 2050: 91.6% of 2050 ever-borns already dead

While this math answers your actual question, it doesn't answer your implied question, which is "How many people lived during a time when they could not have the fullness of the gospel?"*  It also doesn't address your most important worry, that of whether our God is an unkind God or not, seeing as many of His children lived without the fullness of the gospel in their lives due to the Great Apostasy.  

Your concern for the people who missed out on the fullness of the gospel during the Great Apostasy, while well-meaning, is doctrinally incomplete.  The spirit world plays a large factor in this.  The tens of billions or so who died without the gospel are there, and the other tens of billions are busy teaching the gospel of Christ to them. The hope we have is that these teachings are well-received, and that the missionary success rate on the other side of the veil is much greater than it is here.

It's good to keep in mind, though, that while many people lived without that fullness, Heavenly Father sends His children to Earth at a time best for each one of them.  Many of those people set the groundwork for the gospel to be reintroduced and accepted in its fullness rather than in broken bits and pieces, and I'm sure that those like Martin Luther, Confucius (who gets such a bad rap due to racist jokes), Beethoven, George Washington, and others were fulfilled and happy to live in the time they did, to help prepare the world for the gospel again.  Even the average person helped, with worship and questions and raising children who were (in ideal situations) better off than their parents.  Just because the fullness of the gospel was not available to these people doesn't mean that the people of this time were not blessed, or that they did not have inspiration from the Lord.  

If you want to read more about the Great Apostasy, I recommend this article on Eusebius, this article on how the Great Apostasy came about because of the people and not the Lord selfishly taking the gospel away, and this article on how the Lord prepared His people once again to receive the teachings they lost through disobedience.  Certain actions have long-lasting consequences, and it wasn't the Lord who decided to take those actions, it was the Christians and those who opposed the Christians.  The gospel became corrupted and confused, and the governments that came into place oppressed religious rights, meaning that even if the Church had never become corrupted, it would have been oppressed and nearly destroyed as different rulers disagreed with prophets and apostles who spoke revelation.  The Church, with the choices of the people, was bound to be destroyed and branches of it corrupted, without the networks and governments we have now.  

-Yog in Neverland

*The closest possible answer is 1 A.D.-1850 A.D.'s total births: 46,591,516,975, or 41% of the 2050 projected total.  However, this does not subtract those who were possibly visited by Christ after his death, or their next several generations' worth of descendants.  

Question #74004 posted on 09/03/2013 9:28 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So from time to time on tv or other forms of media there'll come an episode or story about a mad (or maybe in some cases just cruel) scientist who did experiments on their patients. Are there real life stories about this? It's been a while since I took a psych class so I only faintly remember learning about lobotomies and such, but I do remember that those seemed cruel and I know that at certain periods of time that metally ill patients were treated rather poorly. So, what real-life horrors stories of the past, or present, are there? And have there ever been cases of people in more modern time performing cruel experiments when the care should've been much different?

Thanks!
-Wondering where the stories came from

A:

(Editor's note: Marguerite St. Just does a very thorough job below of outlining a number of actual experiments that can absolutely be classified as cruel and inhumane. It is worth noting that, even though the links provided don't show any particularly gruesome images, MSJ's descriptions, and the additional information found in the links, is certainly disturbing and graphic. Please consider this a content warning. Thanks.)

Dear Chervil,

My immediate thought, and I don't know why this was my immediate thought, was of Dr. Isaac Baker Brown, a 19th century English gynecologist, who performed clitoridectomies (for those who don't want to look that up -- and I don't blame you -- that's basically removing the clitoris) without the consent or knowledge of the patients. I mean, there are worse things that can happen (Tuskegee being a great example and my second thought before I saw Conceal O'Canth already mentioned it), but, the idea is still horrifying to me. This is, of course, a practice that is still performed all over the world, but Dr. Baker Brown was the specific person who came to mind.

I'm also familiar with the Monster Study which was performed at the University of Iowa in 1939 over the course of six months. The study involved placing 22 orphaned children in control and experimental groups; to one group they gave positive speech therapy, praising their speech, and to the other group, they gave negative speech therapy, belittling the children for every speech imperfection and telling them they were stutterers. Many of the normal-speaking orphan children who received negative therapy in the experiment suffered negative psychological effects and some retained speech problems for the rest of their lives.
 
There is also the oft-mentioned Stanford Prison Experiment. The study itself wasn't unethical (unless you count two of the researchers being part of the study as prison wardens - which is sketchy), but the results were rather troubling. It was even approved by a review board (the International Review Board has come a long way since then). The Stanford Prison Experiment design was to randomly assign volunteers (victims?) to the position of guard or prisoner in a mock prison where the guards' only "rules" were to "maintain law and order, avoid physical violence, and prevent prisoner escapes." Of course, the part about avoiding physical violence quickly turned into "use physical and psychological violence at all possible times" because humans are jerks that way. Prisoners were beaten, stripped naked for punishments, chained together, and, though they were told they could leave at any time, the peer pressure combined with high stress of the situation made most of the subjects feel they had no escape (five of the twelve "prisoners" had to be released early due to their horrible negative reactions to the experiment). There has to be a faster way to learn about human behavior; like reading Lord of the Flies.
 
We also have the Milgram Experiment which was done at Yale in 1961 to test obedience to authority figures. The experiment began three months after the start of the trial for German Nazi ward criminal Adolf Eichmann and hoped to answer the question "Could it be that Eichmann and his million accomplices in the Holocaust were just following orders? Could we call them all accomplices?" The setup involved having an experimenter, a teacher (always an unsuspecting volunteer) and a learner (always an actor). The teacher was to give the student four word pairs and test the learner on his or her ability to remember the pairs; for each answer wrong, the teacher was to give the learner an electric shock with the voltage increasing in 15-volt increments for each wrong answer. The teacher and learner could communicate but not see each other. Because that setup wasn't dramatic enough, before the learner went in the other room, he or she would first mention having a heart condition. If teachers wanted to stop shocking learners, it was the experimenter's job to prod them to continue the experiment saying it can't be stopped. The level of shock the teacher was willing to administer was considered a measure of obedience. The truly horrible part comes here: "The subjects believed that for each wrong answer, the learner was receiving actual shocks. In reality, there were no shocks. After the confederate was separated from the subject, the confederate set up a tape recorder integrated with the electro-shock generator, which played pre-recorded sounds for each shock level. After a number of voltage level increases, the actor started to bang on the wall that separated him from the subject. After several times banging on the wall and complaining about his heart condition, all responses by the learner would cease." Even though all that, they were told they were required to finish the experiment and keep shocking the learner...who was theoretically dead. Despite 84% of the participants saying they were glad to have done the experiment, I think I would have been beyond traumatized by the experience.
 
I don't know how terrible the Landis’ Facial Expressions Experiment was, but it is a tiny bit bizarre. The Purpose of the Landis experiment was to see if facial expressions were universal, so participants had black lines drawn on their faces (better to measure what those facial muscles were doing) and introduced to stimuli that would provoke a facial reaction like smelling ammonia, watching pornography and putting their hands into a bucket of frogs -- all normal things that I react to every day, really. The weird/cruel part came when they were asked to decapitate a live mouse. Most normal people, at least the ones I know, aren't terribly skilled a decapitating live rats (or, thankfully, anything, for that matter), so the participants who followed through with that instruction (I've read either two-thirds or a third of them), botched it. Terribly. Which definitely produced facial reactions. Those who were unwilling to decapitate the rat had to watch while Carney Landis decapitated the rat in front of them. Conclusion: Facial expressions differ even for the same stimuli. Sub-conclusion: Researchers can be totally nuts. Unintended conclusion: People will do nearly anything when asked by Science. Landis and Migram should have really teamed up.
 
Now for some truly horrifying experiments (is it bad that I'm organizing these by "not that bad" and "horrifying"? Maybe there's an experiment on desensitization I should be researching).
 
We'll start with Unit 731 in Japanese prisoner of war camps during WWII -- also known as the Asian Auschwitz. Thousands of men, women and children died from the experiments which studied vivisection (don't even worry, it was without anesthesia because vivisection alone isn't scary enough), organ and limb removal (sometimes they re-attached them! On the opposite side.), having limbs frozen (to study the effects of gangrene and rotting), injections of various diseases like syphilis and gonorrhea and exposure to anthrax, cholera, typhoid, dysentery and the plague. Humans were also used in testing for grenade effects, tied to stakes and targeted by chemical weapons, germ-releasing and explosive bombs. They were also starved to death, placed in high pressure chambers or centrifuges or hung upside down until death, frozen, burned, lethally x-rayed, injected with sea water, had air injected into their arteries, and prematurely buried alive. I don't even think Hollywood could touch the horrors of the Japanese POW camps in an hour-long TV show.
 
We can also look to the Aversion Project in South Africa in the 1970s and 80s where the government tried to cure homosexuality in some 900 people by forcing intense shock therapy, chemical castration, hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery. The results? It didn't work and Aubrey Levin, the doctor in charge, managed to hold on to his medical license until 2010 when he was charged with allegations of sexual abuse.
 
The last case I could recall off-hand were the experiments performed by Dr. Josef Mengele (a show I watched recently kept pronouncing it "Dr. Mangly." Without closed captioning, I'd have no idea what on earth was happening in that scene. It was weird.) in Auschwitz and nicknamed the Angel of Death or just Dr. Death. Actually, you could search anything under "Nazi Human Experimentation," as other doctors were involved, and pick your poison (as it were). Some of Dr. Mengele's horrific experiments focused on studying twins. The studies conducted on the twins consisted of blood transfusions from one twin to the other, chemical eye injections intended to turn eyes blue (they were unsurprisingly painful and could cause blindness), incestuous impregnation, isolation endurance, diseases given to one twin with the intent to kill and when the twin died, both were autopsied to observe differences, and various surgeries (without anesthesia) that included amputations, castration, sex changes and organ removal. Of the approximately 3,000 twins experiments on; only around 200 survived. He also liked to study others with deformities, including a family of seven dwarfs. Like the children, the dwarfs were subjected to frequent blood tests, but they also had regular tests on organ functions as well as doctors alternately pouring boiling and freezing water in their ears (for what purpose, I can't fathom. Two other dwarfs, not related to the family of seven were executed and their bodies were either boiled or dropped in a bath of acid to separate their flesh from their bones so they could study the bone structure. Dr. Mengele had no problems experimenting on other prisoners, especially children. 
 
There are also plenty of lists on human experimentation that list studies I hadn't thought of or even heard of:
 
Seven Absolutely Evil Medical Experiments, along with a few I mentioned, also lists the murders committed by William Burke and William Hare for the purpose of selling bodies to medical facilities for study; Dr. J. Marion Sims gynecological surgeries (without anesthesia, of course) on slaves and the Guatemalan Syphilis study where prisoners and mental asylum patients were purposely injected with syphilis.
 
Top 10 Evil Human Experiments adds to our list with Project 4.1 where the government studied residents of the Marshall Islands exposed to radioactive fallout after a nuclear test; Project MKULTRA which is a CIA mind control experiment where LSD (and other drugs) was administered to people without their knowledge; North Korean Experimentation which is similar to Unit 731 in that subjects were poisoned and suffocated in horrific ways, and the Soviets poison laboratory where poisons were developed to be tasteless, odorless and not detectable postmortem. Of course they tested it on people. Listverse wins for knowing about more horrifying studies than I do.

Listverse also has a Top 10 Unethical Psychological Experiments where we learn of Little Albert, a small child who was taught to be afraid of mice by hearing a startling noise any time a mouse was near him and David Reimer, a boy who had a botched circumcision so the doctor (with his parents approval) decided to make him a girl. The doctor believed that gender is determined by environmental factors. David, after all kinds of crazy gender identity issues, eventually became male again and committed suicide. They list a few more experiments on animals, but I'm ignoring those since you just care about people.

Top 10 Immoral and Unethical Psychological Experiments gives us the Third Wave Disaster which was a companion study to the Milgram Experiment and ended badly when the students being studied were out of control with aggressive behavior and The Tony LaMadrid Case where scientists convinced schizophrenia patients to give up their medications in hopes of studying why schizophrenics relapse. That study ended with the aforementioned Tony LaMadrid jumping off a building.

Science! 

-Marguerite St. Just
posted on 09/03/2013 3:54 p.m.
Awesome answer Marguerite St. Just. Just one tiny correction. It's Institutional Review Board, not international. There's one for every institution that performs human subjects research (including BYU).
Question #73968 posted on 08/30/2013 12:46 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Is there any way to get the mandolin tab for the song that plays in the background of the Mormon Channel video Kids and Christmas?

-Me

A:

Dear You,

Well, there aren't any official transcriptions of the piece anywhere online, but it's a pretty simple melody, so I went ahead and tabbed it for you myself.* And here's a notated version, too, just for kicks. If you're dead set on having the harmony mandolin part and the background guitar part as well, feel free to email me and I'll see what I can do (but no guarantees). 

-TEN

*Don't hate me if it's not perfect. I've never tabbed anything before. It sounded good when I played it. 

Question #73963 posted on 08/30/2013 7:46 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,,

Who would win in a fight between Edward Cullen and Wolverine?

-Concerned Husband

A:

Dear you,

Well, you asked.

I'm going to disclaim off the top that my analysis below is based on prior knowledge and what I'm going to refer to as "Wikipedia Canon." That means that powers/skills/etc. will follow the most current information available from Wikipedia because Wikipedia is the best.

So. Let's do this.

Let's begin by giving a brief overview of each character and making some definitional calls in order to compare across universes.1

The Competitors:

Ladies and Gentlemen, in CORNER NUMBER ONE:

Wolverine

wolverine.jpg

(Image)

Strengths: Wolverine is not a guy to mess with. He's superhuman from the inside out - his skeleton is reinforced with near-indestructible adamantium and he has rapid regenerative healing. His senses are superhuman, as are his strength, speed, and stamina. His mind is also "highly resistant to telepathic assault and probing." He's also quite a lot older than he looks - he's been around and fighting for quite a while.

Weaknesses: It's been suggested that the best way to kill Wolverine (due to his rapid healing) is to cut off his head and separate it from his body. Carbonadium can slow his healing ability, as can the Murumasa blade. Huge amounts of poison can also have an affect. Finally, water seems to be be dangerous for Wolverine, who might be able to be killed by drowning (his skeleton is heavier than normal because of the adamantium.)

Now, there are some other things we could potentially count as "weaknesses" here but which I'm not going to. From what I glean on Wikipedia, Wolverine's most recent comic arc includes a few serious bummers for the clawed dude. Specifically, that his previous death-defying rapid healing was just that - the result of successful battles against Azrael (angel of death.) Recent events, however, have changed the status quo, and "the next time Wolverine sustains death-inducing injuries, he will remain dead, and his healing factor has apparently been slightly weakened."2  Anyway, as stated below, we're going to ignore these weaknesses for the sake of a "fair fight."

Now, let's meet the challenger in the opposite corner.

Edward Cullen

 edward.jpg

(Image)

Strengths: Stephenie Meyer's vampires are incredibly fast, agile, and strong. Their tissue is incredibly hard (Meyer compares it to stone.) They have healing capabilities, though the time-frame is less rapid than Wolverine at his peak. He also does not need to breathe and is a capable swimmer. Edward is also a mind-reader and benefits from very rapid thought processes common to Meyer's vampires.

Weaknesses: Cullen's vampires are shown as being vulnerable to each other as well as to werewolves. Edward is consistently kept slightly below peak performance because he does not drink human blood. Cullen is also incredibly protective of his girlfriend/wife Bella and may make poor choices if he feels she is threatened. The section of his Wikipedia article entitled "Vampiric abilities and personal interests" also mentions that he "prefers indie rock to mainstream." Whether this is a weakness or strength will be left to the reader.3

The Rules:

  1. Both Stephenie Meyer and generations of Marvel writers have endowed these characters with "superhuman" strength, speed, agility, and senses. For simplicity's sake, we're going to assume that these are equal. Superhuman is superhuman. Essentially, Edward's capable (in terms of raw strength) of ripping off Wolverine's head and vice versa. Edward can break Wolverine's adamantium bones, and Wolverine's adamantium claws can cut Edward.
  2. Both characters will be assumed to be in their top normal state for the fight. Wolverine is assumed to have access to his full healing abilities, etc. Edward is assumed to be fed, etc.
  3. "Winning the fight" requires one character to be in a kill position relative to the other character.

The Fight(s):

Well, here we go. The face off of the sparkly vampire and the man in serious need of a manicure. This fight is actually not insanely unbalanced, so here are some different possible scenarios.

Episode 1: Edware Cullen and the Carbonadium Blade or Murumasa Katana or What Have You

So, Edward really only has two ways to bring Wolverine to a kill point: he can remove his head or drown him. Either of these will be easier if Wolverine can be somehow weakened. However, it's kind of difficult to weaken someone who near-instantly spontaneously heals any injury you inflict upon them. Fortunately for the sake of antagonists across the Marvel Universe, there exists a convenient material known as "Carbonadium," that is essentially Wolverine's Kryptonite. A katana called the "Murumasa" has a similar effect. Embed a piece of Carbonadium in him or get him with the Murumasa blade and his healing will be impaired, giving you an edge. Either of these weaknesses might let Edward get the advantage he'd need to decapitate Wolverine.

Episode 2: Wolverine and the Hey I've Got Your Wife

Edward Cullen is fawned over by girls worldwide in part because he is straight-up obsessed with his girlfriend (but it's totally not creepy because they are in love, guys.) He's incredibly dedicated and has shown himself willing to do pretty much anything (dying included) for Bella. Now, Bella's currently a vampire too, which would make abducting her a trick of itself, but if Wolverine could somehow lure her into a dangerous situation (say by using her human father as bait) and convince Edward that the only way to save her was to give himself up, he'd do it.

Episode 3: Edward Cullen and the Hydrophobic Gulo Gulo

If Edward could somehow bring this fight to the water, he'd have a clear advantage. He doesn't need to breathe and has a huge advantage over the adamantium-skeletoned Wolverine. In the water, this seems like a pretty one-way fight to me.

Episode 4: Wolverine and the Distrac - BLOOOOOODD!!!!

Edward Cullen is a vampire and is therefore pretty obsessed with blood. The obsession he has with Bella's blood is a major plot point. If Wolverine could find another person whose blood Edward was so attracted, it'd provide a pretty serious distraction in an already tough fight. 

Episode 5: Edward Cullen and the Tons of Poison

Wolverine heals quickly, but Wikipedia says that large amounts of poison can still affect him. If Edward could trick Wolverine into ingesting a large amount of poison (and keep in mind that a "large amount" of something like ricin would only need to be, say, a teaspoon shoved into his mouth or secreted in his cocoa,) he might be able to incapacitate him for long enough to win.

The Verdict:

So, who wins? Well, so far it depends on the situation. What about a straight on, on land, bare-knuckle, no-holds-barred, weaponless duel with no other characters and no distractions? Let's look at that one.

Episode 6: Wolverine, Edward Cullen and the Skill Against Skill Alone5

This one is tough. What we have here are two characters that are basically both written to be pretty undefeatable. They're both experienced fighters and neither would give up easily. However, I'll go ahead and call victory for Wolverine. Here are two disadvantages that could turn the tide against Edward.

  1. Wolverine's healing is faster. If Edward rips a chunk off of Wolverine, it'll pretty much instantly regenerate. If Wolverine returns the favor, Edward will keep fighting, but sans the body part (until he can go collect or reattach or whatever later.) For this reason, a long, drawn-out battle gives Wolverine an advantage of attrition.
  2. Edward's telepathy may be detrimental in this case - he's used to fighting with the knowledge of his opponent's thought processes (according to Meyer.) Because Wolverine's resistant to that, he loses an advantage he typically relies on. This could be a serious issue.

And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Looks like Wolverine's taking home the trophy. At least until a challenger arrives:

Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man

animalvegetablemineralman.jpg

 (Image)

He's the hero Gotham needs, but not the one it deserves, or something.

Hooray.

The End.

~Anne, Certainly

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I'll comment here that after looking at the Wikipedia article describing Wolverine's physical capabilities, the one describing Edward's was comparable pretty lame.

Which makes him somewhat more like most of the rest of us, for whom "death-inducing injuries" tend to leave us, well, dead.

Another possible weakness: displayed vulnerability to "avada kedavra" and a resultant phobia of bowling.4

Kill the spare.

No tricks, no weapons.

Question #73894 posted on 08/27/2013 8:34 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

My husband and I have been dreaming of building a home for a long time. I was thinking that if we ever do, I would write scriptures inside the walls when they are being built. I'm not sure I can think of any good ones though. Are there any scriptures from the Bible or preferably the Book of Mormon that you would hide inside your home? (Is this a totally weird idea?) I was trying to think of stuff to write on the main floor, in the master bedroom and in my future kids' rooms and a guest room.

Ideas? Thoughts?

-Foundation

A:

Dear Basil,

President Monson gave a talk called "Building Your Eternal Home" that has some wonderful scripture suggestions. Also it's one of my favorite President Monson talks, so I used it as my jumping off point and then added from there.

Kitchen:

D&C 88:119 "Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.” (This can really go wherever you plan to gather frequently.)

Matthew 6:5-7, 9-13 “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray … , that they may be seen of men. …
“But thou, when thou prayest, … pray to thy Father which is in secret. …
“Use not vain repetitions. …
“After this manner … pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
“Give us this day our daily bread.
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.”

Isaiah 58:6-11 “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? …
“To deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?”
The reward is then announced: “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward.
“Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, “Here I am. …
“And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:
“And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, … and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.”

D&C 130:2 "And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy."

The Family: A Proclamation to the World "Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities." I know it's not a scripture, but it could also be nice for where ever your family plans to gather frequently.

Entry Way/Foyer:

Matthew 12:25 "Every … house divided against itself shall not stand.”

1 Nephi 3:7 “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded.”

Revelation 3:20 "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him."

James 1:27 "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."

Bedrooms:

3 John 1:4 "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."

Enos 1:27 "And I soon go to the place of my rest, which is with my Redeemer; for I know that in him I shall rest. And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality, and shall stand before him; then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father. Amen."

Matthew 11:28 "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

D&C 42:88 "And if thy brother or sister offend thee, thou shalt take him or her between him or her and thee alone; and if he or she confess thou shalt be reconciled."

D&C 108:7 "Therefore, strengthen your brethren in all your conversation, in all your prayers, in all your exhortations, and in all your doings."

Pantry/Laundry Room:

D&C 132:8 “Behold, mine house is a house of order, … and not a house of confusion.” C'mon, that's funny. Well, at least if you saw my pantry....

Foundation:

Matthew 7:24 "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock"

Helaman 5:12 "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."

Hebrews 11:10 "For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."

Isaiah 28:16 "Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation..."

2 Corinthians 5:1 "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

Study/Office:

D&C 88:118 “Seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith."

Matthew 11:28-29 “Come … learn of me … and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

Bathroom:

Ether 2:24-25 "For behold, ye shall be as a whale in the midst of the sea; for the mountain waves shall dash upon you. Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea; for the winds have gone forth out of my mouth, and also the drains and the floods have I sent forth. And behold, I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come. Therefore what will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths of the sea?"

Porch/Garden Pathway:

Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."

Jeremiah 29:5 "Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them."

Any Room:

1 Corinthians 3:16 "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"

1 Kings 9:3 “I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.”

Joshua 24:15 "Choose you this day whom ye will serve ... but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

3 Nephi 3:19-21 "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal; But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

D&C 31:9 "... Govern your house in meekness, and be steadfast."

Proverbs 24:3 "Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established."

As for your kids' bedrooms, you should probably have this poster hanging up:

Lego.jpg

(source)

-Marguerite St. Just

Question #73890 posted on 08/25/2013 5:28 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Over the years, many composers have taken the text of various psalms in Psalms and put them to their own music. First, what are some notable compositions? And second, have all 150 psalms been put to music (disregarding the original music from David et. al.'s time)?

-Not the Song of Solomon

A:

Dear Solomon,

To answer your second question: yes, all 150 psalms have been put to music. Many times over, in fact. The most basic settings of the psalms that have occurred over the years were in psalters, books containing some or all of the psalms put to a singable meter. Though some earlier psalters contained only the text of the psalms, many psalters contained melodies and even harmonizations. One of the most notable collections of psalms was the Genevan Psalter, a French-language psalter created under the supervision of John Calvin. The first English book published in the New World was a psalter, the Bay Psalm Book. More recently, the Psalter Hymnal of the Christian Reformed Church was published in the 20th century and contains musical settings of all 150 psalms. As far as arrangements by famous classical composers goes, the Wikipedia entry for "Psalms Set to Music" seems to cover most if not all of the psalms, and that's only a small sampling of the many arrangements out there.

Okay, now on to notable settings of psalms. The most popular psalm setting is probably "Joy to the World." The text, by Isaac Watts, was based on Psalm 98 and the musical arrangement was created by Lowell Mason. Other famous psalm settings include:

  • Miserere by Gregorio Allegri is a setting of Psalm 51. Cool story: it was performed only once a year, in the Vatican, and performing it elsewhere or even transcribing it was punishable by execution. When Mozart was 14, he visited Rome, heard the Miserere and transcribed it by memory back in his hotel room. The piece was published, the ban lifted, and instead of excommunicating him, the Pope congratulated Mozart. 
  • Beatus Vir by Antonio Vivaldi. This choral piece uses the text from Psalm 112.
  • Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns Haelt and Waer Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit by J.S. Bach both use a paraphrase of Psalm 124 as their text.
  • Psalm 42 by Felix Mendelssohn. This is absolutely gorgeous. Please go listen to it now.
  • Psalm 13 by Johannes Brahms. Hauntingly beautiful with a surprisingly jubilant ending. Listen to the Chamber Choir of Europe's recording.
  • Psalms 13, 18, 23, 116, 129 and 137 by Franz Liszt
  • Psalm 138 by Ralph Vaughan Williams
  • Psalm 138 by Gustav Holst
  • Psalm 150 by Benjamin Britten. The orchestral part is really what makes this one for me. I mean..dang.
  • Psalms 121 and 150 by Zoltan Kodaly. I'm a sucker for Kodaly's choral works, what can I say? His Psalm 121 is especially lovely.
  • Symphony of Psalms by Igor Stravinsky uses Psalms 38, 39 and 150 and is pretty cool.
  • Tehillim by Steve Reich uses parts of Psalm 18, 19, 34, and 150. I listened to this piece for a music history class once and then completely forgot about it until now. Reich is pretty out there, so it isn't your standard choral psalm setting, but it's definitely worth a listen.
and a bit more recently...
  • "40" by U2 is based on Psalm 40
  • In live performance, snippets of Psalm 116 are often inserted into U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name."
  • "Tzama L'chol Nafshi" by Matisyahu uses text from Psalm 63
  • "Jerusalem" by Matisyahu is a setting of Psalm 137
  • The song "On the Willows" from the musical Godspell is based on Psalm 137

Peace,

-Stego Lily

Question #73779 posted on 08/14/2013 5:10 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How long can I survive on baked potatoes and eggs?

-Chippy

A:

Dear Chippy,

Interesting question! For the sake of the question and research, I'm going to assume that you eat 10 eggs (50 oz each) and 8 medium/large potatoes (213 grams each or close to 4 pounds total) a day. It seems to be the most efficient combination and you would be consuming about 2,053 calories a day, assuming each egg is about 75 calories and each potato is about 163 and assuming that you're a healthy human who requires the standard amount of 2,000 calories a day. For the sake of simplicity I'm also going to assume that you don't use any toppings on your baked potato or egg besides salt and pepper. 

The first thing I uncovered as I researched the nutritional value of potatoes and eggs was that potatoes contain glycoalkaloids that can potentially kill you if you eat an enormous amount of them raw. However, the level of glycoalkaloids in 8 raw potatoes a day would not be enough to kill you, and since you're baking them, you're denaturing the compound and rendering them mostly non-lethal. As long as you cook both your eggs and potatoes thoroughly, you should avoid both poisoning and disease. So far, so good. 

After deciding that you would prepare your food properly, I went through and calculated how much of your daily value you would get from your diet. I looked up the essential vitamins and minerals and discovered that vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B4, B6, B12, C, D, E, K and the minerals magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and iron are on almost every survivalist's list. After doing the math, I found that for 10 eggs and 8 potatoes a day you would be severely deficient in B4 (roughly 0%) and that you would only be eating about a third of the daily recommended amount for vitamins E and K. You'd be a little closer to your daily value for vitamin D at about 75%. Now let's see if any of those deficiencies will limit your potential survival:

According to this source a vitamin B4 deficiency seems serious, but B4, or adenine makes up part of your DNA and is synthesized by the body. Being deficient in B4 seems to be very unusual and I'm going to do some more assuming and decide that you will be okay. 

Your body also makes vitamin K, so as long as you don't suffer any traumatic injuries after several years of being deficient (vitamin K helps your blood clot, so hemorrhaging is one of the effects of being deficient) I'm also going to say that this is not a deficiency that would threaten your survival. My research was showing me that eggs are high in vitamin K, but two large eggs have about .3 micrograms, and an adult male needs about 90 micrograms a day. You would actually be consuming most of your daily value from the potatoes at about 32%. 

A vitamin E deficiency can lead to potential blindness, but even people with diets low in vitamin E rarely show symptoms and those deficient rarely develop problems. Assuming you have at least fifteen minutes of sun exposure every day, your body will synthesize plenty of vitamin D and make up for your dietary deficiency. So technically, none of your deficiencies are life threatening. As long as you add plenty of salt (with iodine, although potatoes have a lot of iodine as well) to your food, you should also avoid deficiency problems there. 

So your deficiencies are all well and good, but what about the vitamins and minerals you would be over consuming? You would be ingesting too much of the following: vitamin B2 (at 420% of your daily value), vitamin B6 (at 240%), vitamin B12 (at 230%) and vitamin C (So yay, no scurvy, but at a whopping 384% of your daily value!) as well as phosphorus (253% of your daily value).

As it turns out, vitamin B2 is very water soluble and impossible to overdose on. Your body just eliminates the excess. A vitamin B6 overdose (especially over years) is very serious, but even at 240% of your DV, you'd be fine-- you're only consuming about 4.72 mg a day, and a low upper limit, established by this source, is 10 mg. There's no upper limit for B12, and no adverse effects exist from ingesting too much. My mom likes to caution me about vitamin C overdoses, but as it happens, your consumption would be nowhere near close enough to cause a major overdose (6,000+ mg a day), so you're fine there. As for phosphorus, you would be consuming about 1,772 mg, and this Livestrong article puts the upper limit at 4,000 mg. So even your over-consumption would not threaten your survival. 

In total, you would be consuming plenty of fats (125% DV), enough carbs (about 96% DV) and enough protein to sustain muscle growth (124%). 

For your additional interest, this article by Cecil Adams takes a look at a diet consisting of just potatoes and milk and discovered that you would be deficient in molybdenum. The good news is that eggs have about 3 micrograms each, and you would consume about 30 micrograms total, which is about 77% of your daily value. Eggs and milk are actually fairly similar nutritionally speaking, except for molybdenum, and in this type of diet, eggs would be a better choice than milk. 

I'm honestly really surprised by the results. The vitamins and minerals you would be deficient in would have few adverse effects, while the ones you overdose on would also have no effect. I'm no nutritionist and my math is rounded, but as far as I can tell you could potentially survive for a long time on baked potatoes and eggs, unless dietary boredom killed you off. With that being said, please don't take this as a go-ahead for a diet that consists of nothing but potatoes and eggs. Common sense and moderation in all things. 

-Concorde

Question #73776 posted on 08/14/2013 4:40 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

One of the things I love about BYU is that there are so many things the university provides for students. I'm sure you all already know, but the Media Lab in the library has high-powered computers with advanced video editing software. Cool! The circulation desk checks out iPads. Anyone can use certain parts of the athletic facilities.

My question is, what gems like this does BYU offer that we should try/might not know about yet? Which ones have you found useful?

-Reader

A:

Dear reader,

Normally "The 100 Hour Board" would be my first response, but I suppose you've figured that one out already. Here is a list of BYU-provided things I've tried or heard about, in no particular order. Some are more well-known than others, and some are only useful depending on your interests.

Library chat - on the right side of the library's website, click "Chat" under "Ask a Librarian" to have a lovely conversation about anything in the library
Media Center - on the fourth floor of the library there is a collection of movies available for three-day checkout; the Media Center can also convert your video tapes to DVDs; it also houses the Multimedia Lab where you can check out electronics equipment (camcorders, audio recorders, digital cameras, microphones) and, of course, they have sweet computers with great software
Classical Music Library - I've never used it, but Board Question #43951 gives details (and lists some other "best kept secrets" of BYU)
IT Training classes - learn everything from Microsoft Access to Photoshop to how to use a Mac; the library also offers some software classes, but I prefer the ones through IT
Women's Gym - see Board Question #66176 for location; it's good for girls who want a less crowded environment, but the selection of equipment isn't as great as the Student Fitness Center
Study Buddy program - practice your second language and help someone else learn English too; Board Question #42133 has a good description
BYU Writing Center - in 4026 JKB, writing tutors can help you with any kind of writing at any stage in the writing process (doesn't need to be school-related)
Counseling and Career Center - they have everything from general and pre-professional advisement to academic skills classes to career services (they can critique your resume for you, among many other things); perhaps most notably, the CCC also includes Counseling and Psychological Services and Stress Management & Biofeedback Services, which I've never tried but have been highly recommended right here at the Board
Women's Services & Resources - free nutrition consultations, support groups, and counseling centered around women's issues
Free personal trainer - interns at the Fitness Center can help you meet your exercise goals
Distribution Services Center - you can purchase Church distribution materials in the basement of the BYU Bookstore; it "offers a limited variety of temple clothing and garments"
BYU Info - call (801) 422-INFO to ask the BYU Operators any BYU-related question; they have special access to campus information
BYU Surplus - sells BYU surplus items, from furniture to electronics; send an email to surplus (at) byu.edu to get on the mailing list; more information here
Lost and Found Sale - get some used items for dirt cheap once a year around September; you can also get free used school supplies at the Lost & Found at various times during the school year (look in the boxes in front of the counter)
BYU Book Exchange - a Bookstore-run site that helps students connect with each other to buy and sell textbooks
University Accessibility Center - get tested for learning disabilities for free or at a reasonable price; also has helpful resources if you do have a disability
Borrow board games - check out up to three games at a time for three days from the WSC Info Desk (or, if you live in on-campus housing, you can check with your central building [where you can also borrow sports equipment, tools, and sometimes kitchen appliances, as well as buy stamps])
Harp room - a room with a harp in it in the HBLL; "If you go to the music desk on the fourth floor and ask nicely, they will let you go in and play it. There's also a huge library of harp music there." -yayfulness; thanks also to Tally M. for adding it to the list
Free bowling - every student receives one free game and shoe rental per school year at the WSC Games Center; there's also an arcade and great buffalo wings down there (or so I'm told)
Planetarium - Friday night shows are just $2 a person
BYU Textile Cleaning Services - offers dry cleaning at great prices
Free software - BYU provides a small selection of free programs; the Bookstore also offers software discounts but I'm not sure how competitive they are
Bookstore movie rentals - rent DVDs and Blu-rays for a dollar a night from the computer section on the third floor of the Bookstore; better selection than the Media Center, in my opinion
Viewing rooms - you can reserve a room in the HBLL to watch movies
Varsity Theater Dollar Movie nights - posters on the theater's front window give names, dates, and times; buy tickets at the WSC Info Desk
Great Works Card - if you're in the Honors program, you can get $2 tickets to some of BYU's performances (similar to the New Student Arts Card)
Free New York Times - there are stacks of these around campus that are depleted pretty quickly, but I can always find some in the Brimhall building
Bookstore Pack & Ship - according to the Universe, the Pack & Ship department in the Bookstore offers discounted shipping rates
Databases & Subject Guides - everyone knows about these now because they teach it in first-year writing, but I just want to emphasize that we are very priveleged to have access to some great scholarly journals and other online academic resources
International Cinema - admission is free to this theater (in the SWKT) that shows foreign and classic films
Music room in the Testing Center - listen to soft classical music as you take your test in a smaller, upper room of the building
Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum - (closed until Spring 2014) free admission, live animal shows for FHE, and more; the Museums of Paleontology and Art and Peoples and Cultures are also free admission
Cool classes - if you've ever wanted to learn scuba diving or Norwegian, BYU is the place to do it; check out Board Question #20477 and Board Question #71545 for some thoughts about Honors and unconventional courses  

Okay wow. I didn't realize how many there were when I started this, so I'm going to have to call that good before this goes overhours. I know I'm missing some, but hopefully a few are new and useful to you. Board Question #58515 also gives a good overview of BYU "freebies" and how to find more. The ones I've found most useful are the CCC and pretty much all the library.

-Owlet